Disparities Leadership Program Alumni Spotlight: Caroline Bennett-AbuAyyash, PhD

Bennett-AbuAyyashHealth Equity Project Coordinator, Mount Sinai Hospital
Toronto, Canada

1. Why are you passionate about this type of work?
My drive comes from data showing that something as benign as a bus stop can predict long you will live. The injustice of those statistics still shocks me. However, knowing that these differences are avoidable means we have a real opportunity to step in and do something about it.

2. What was your “aha” moment while working on equity-related efforts at your organization?
Health care providers’ difficulty with accepting that “I treat everybody the same” is not a positive attribute but a failure to account for unique patient needs. Addressing that misconception led to changes in our educational tools to focus on needs-based (unique) care as a driver of health equity.

3. What part of the Disparities Leadership Program has been the most useful in moving your work forward?
Having a community we can continue to go back to for support, advice, tools, and collaboration opportunities has been invaluable and definitely unique. Being part of the DLP feels like being in a health-equity club for life.

4. What is one piece of advice you would give anyone working on disparities/equity related efforts?
My best piece of advice actually comes from a DLP faculty member Dr. Roderick R. King “the moment you become tired talking about it (health disparities work) is the moment they start listening”. It’s a great reminder that health equity is a long-game!

For more information about the Disparities Leadership Program, click here.

For more information on the Pediatric Health Equity Collaborative, click here.

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