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    “Bias Cut: The Quest to Dismantle Race-Based Medicine” by Joy Howard

    Brigham and Women’s Hospital
    The Robert G. Fenley Writing Awards: General Staff Writing - Bronze

    “Bias Cut” looks at how race-based algorithms continue to persist in medicine and health care, even though research has repeatedly dispelled the long-held myth about biological differences between racial groups. 

    While gathering more expansive demographic data helps reveal disparities across many aspects of health care, it is not the only answer, especially when data are easily misinterpreted. “Interpreting data with a health equity lens is essential,” says Zara Cooper, MD, MSc, an acute care surgeon and co-chair of the Brigham Health Board of Trustees Committee for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Health. “Our goal is to infuse equity in everything we do. When we can better understand the experience of our patients and our employees, we can better align our intentions and performance with our values.” Key to this effort at Brigham Health has been looking at health equity as a quality and safety issue not just in outcomes of care but in access to care itself.

    What was the most impactful part of your entry?
    Showing the complicity of medical journals in perpetuating flawed health care algorithms and norms was most impactful.

    What is one thing you learned from your entry/experience?
    I learned that race-based medicine is pervasive.

    Joy Howard