Healthcare is Hard: A Podcast for Insiders

Responding to Hurricane Katrina Showed Karen DeSalvo the Role Social Determinants Play in Healthcare

June 13, 2019 Episode 8
Healthcare is Hard: A Podcast for Insiders
Responding to Hurricane Katrina Showed Karen DeSalvo the Role Social Determinants Play in Healthcare
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Healthcare is Hard: A Podcast for Insiders
Responding to Hurricane Katrina Showed Karen DeSalvo the Role Social Determinants Play in Healthcare
Jun 13, 2019 Episode 8
healthegy

Hurricane Katrina was an extremely destructive and deadly storm that shut down communities along the Gulf Coast for months and even years. While the scope and scale of this catastrophe are undeniable, it also opened up doors to help move towards a system that unites social care and clinical care, allowing medical professionals to practice great medicine while also addressing the non-medical drivers of health.

 

Dr. Karen DeSalvo was on the front lines of Katrina disaster relief and she vividly remembers these doorways opening. Delivering healthcare from atop ice chests and card tables in the streets of New Orleans, Karen came to three major realizations: 

1)     As important as medicine was, there were a lot of other factors that mattered that she and other healthcare professionals had to prioritize as leaders in the community who people turned to for help.

2)    The most effective moments of care delivery came when people who didn’t typically interact – nurses, social workers, pharmacists, and others – united and worked together as a well-aligned team. 

3)    Health systems should be created with a community, not for a community. Instead of creating a system around buildings and doctors, it’s more important to listen to what the community and the people in it want to prioritize.

Show Notes

Hurricane Katrina was an extremely destructive and deadly storm that shut down communities along the Gulf Coast for months and even years. While the scope and scale of this catastrophe are undeniable, it also opened up doors to help move towards a system that unites social care and clinical care, allowing medical professionals to practice great medicine while also addressing the non-medical drivers of health.

 

Dr. Karen DeSalvo was on the front lines of Katrina disaster relief and she vividly remembers these doorways opening. Delivering healthcare from atop ice chests and card tables in the streets of New Orleans, Karen came to three major realizations: 

1)     As important as medicine was, there were a lot of other factors that mattered that she and other healthcare professionals had to prioritize as leaders in the community who people turned to for help.

2)    The most effective moments of care delivery came when people who didn’t typically interact – nurses, social workers, pharmacists, and others – united and worked together as a well-aligned team. 

3)    Health systems should be created with a community, not for a community. Instead of creating a system around buildings and doctors, it’s more important to listen to what the community and the people in it want to prioritize.

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