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How the CDC Is Tackling Health Disparities and Racism in Health Care

December 10, 2021

Attend the 2021 ASH Grassroots Network Lunch

On Saturday, December 11, at 11:15 a.m. Eastern time, the 2021 ASH Grassroots Network Lunch will be held in the International Ballroom A-D of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center and virtually. This year’s session, which serves as a forum for interested ASH members to learn how they can participate in ASH’s advocacy efforts, communicate with Congress, and discuss the Society’s legislative and regulatory priorities, will feature Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Dr. Walensky will shed light on the CDC’s efforts to highlight and address health disparities and racism in health care, issues that pose a threat to the nation’s health. ASH Government Affairs Chair Jennifer Holter-Chakrabarty, MD, further explained, “She will highlight our role as hematologists in creating an inclusive, diverse, and equitable space for high-quality hematology care for our patients. I look forward to identifying mechanisms with the CDC where we can aim to eliminate health care disparities, specifically in one of our core patient populations, those with sickle cell disease,” she added.  

The ASH Grassroots Network, available to all ASH members who live in the United States, helps support advocacy efforts on behalf of the hematology community. It provides an enormous wealth of resources, including a monthly newsletter that communicates updates surrounding legislation at the national level and sometimes locally, as well as periodic notifications when a particular initiative is in need of greater support. Online, you can craft a letter that automatically populates your legislator’s information, or you can modify it with your personal perspective so that your Senators and Representatives hear firsthand about the needs of the health care and hematology community.  

Dr. Holter-Chakrabarty commented on what else attendees can expect from the session saying, “I am sure we will also learn about the impact of COVID-19 in this arena, and efforts to protect our population during the pandemic and as we move to the new normal.” She explained that given the many lessons learned these past two years about our health system and the importance of diversity of thought and impact of advocacy, her hopes are that we can utilize what we have learned to improve health care disparity, diversity in the workforce, and diversity in thought. “This Grassroots Network lunch will speak to how each and every one of us can push the needle further in this endeavor,” she said. 

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