Newsmakers: PrairieCare Integrates DEI into Clinical Care
PrairieCare is taking steps to implement diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts in clinical care.
“For us right now, that means education and training for staff and really taking the time to learn about the historical roots of healthcare inequities and how that impacts patients,” said Dr. Asfia Qaadir, a psychiatrist with the new role. “And understanding implicit bias, understanding racial trauma and shifting the way we do care, so we truly are caring for all of our patients.”
Dr. Qaadir is excited to tackle this new opportunity.
“It’s very creative work. It’s very compelling work,” said Dr. Qaadir. “I think many of us in healthcare have known this type of work needs to be done for so long. So to see this movement take shape, it’s a very exciting time.”
Dr. Qaadir says many families are familiar with inequity when it comes to mental health care.
“Systemically in this country, everything is connected. When we think about housing, you think about stable employment, opportunities for education. These are all linked and healthcare access is linked to all of those pieces,” said Dr. Qaadir. “Especially in the context of COVID. We’ve seen how healthcare access is blocked for a lot of people if they lose their job.”
Dr. Qaadir says even if someone has adequate insurance, there’s not a guarantee that they’ll be able to get to a clinic to access the care they need.
“Once you walk through that door, what are the odds a clinician is going to understand you or appreciate the nuances of your experience,” said Dr. Qaadir.
While the work might be challenging, Dr. Qaadir says it’s a good challenge and employees are ready to do the work.
In the meantime, what should others do to be allies?
“What I would say is keep telling your stories. We at PrairieCare are listening,” said Dr. Qaadir. “We are ready. We want to help or hear. Keep telling your stories. Pick up the phone and seek care when you need it. We’re here.”