WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A history of inequality in health care has contributed to minority communities being hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dana Dornsife, the founder and CEO of the Lazarex Cancer Foundation, said people of color often don’t have access to the highest quality of care. Dornsife said the foundation is trying to build up trust.
“We want to address the health disparities that exist among our communities of color that COVID has so poignantly brought to light,” said Dornsife. “Insurance disparities, you know, a lot of assisted insurance plans don’t provide access to the latest and greatest treatments and drugs.”
Dornsife said those inequalities lead to avoidable deaths and a distrust in the system. The problem is highlighted by the hesitation of some to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
While the inequalities in healthcare and their consequences are societal problems that will require time and money to solve, Dornsife said they are working on community-based solutions now.
“Bringing together the resources that are out there that a community may not be aware of,” Dornsife said.
The Lazarex Cancer Foundation hopes to provide a link between people of color and healthcare through their community impact program and a new cancer wellness hub in a predominantly Black neighborhood in West Philadelphia. Dornsife described it as “a safe space where they can feel comfortable coming in from information and connections to treatment and care.”
The Philadelphia hub is a pilot for the program Lazarex hopes to expand to other cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.