Policy Implications: A Cohesive Culture for Health Equity in Latino and All Communities


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This is part of the Salud America! Achieving a Cohesive Culture for Health Equity in Latino and All Communities: A Research Review»

Research Review: Conclusions

  • Inequality, including but not limited to income and healthcare inequality, is perpetuated by implicit racial or ethnic bias. Implicit bias influences behavior regardless of intentions and can result in unintentional bolstering of inequity.
  • System justification is a way in which advantaged individuals justify the status quo to help buffer stress from negative events and cope with guilt and distress associated with the existing socioeconomic order. The disadvantaged also engage in system justification, though this may be detrimental to their psychological well-being.
  • People living in rural areas have less access to physical and mental health services and the internet, as rural areas are often isolated and economically depressed.
  • The Affordable Care Act has increased access to health care and reduced barriers to care, but disparities still exist for low-income as well as racial and ethnic groups.
  • Intergroup contact, both in person as well as demonstrated in video, has been shown to have a positive effect on in-group feelings toward out-group members.
  • Social cohesion is an important determinant of population health and well-being, and includes social relations, group membership, and an orientation toward interest in the common good.
  • Social media facilitates connections around the world, harnessing collective power and helping to mobilize individuals to engage in efforts toward positive social change.

Research Review: Policy and Practice Implications

  • Decision-makers and the public should increase financial support for trauma care and basic health care services via higher reimbursements, especially in rural areas and vulnerable communities, to stem the closure of facilities that treat these populations.
  • Medicaid coverage for children should be strengthened. In addition, coverage should be extended to the undocumented and uninsured/underinsured in states without Medicaid expansion.
  • Health services should be culturally competent, and providers should undergo cultural sensitivity training.
  • Intergroup contact should be promoted early, beginning with children, as contact has an inverse relationship with prejudice. These interactions can be promoted in the classroom or at the community level using interventions such as the Public Conversations Project dialogue. Additionally, communications can be used to alter cognitions and emotions to build a basis for support for policies that modify systems to make them more equitable in a more cohesive culture.
  • Local leadership, such as city or county officials, should recruit leadership from within the Latino community, creating a collaborative and integrated community.
  • There should be an emphasis on collaboration between government agencies. Currently, funding for health, housing, economic development, and other community needs comes from different agencies, creating a barrier to collaboration and thus a barrier to social cohesion.

Quick links from our Research Review »

See the Guide: Implicit Bias!

See the Guide: System Justification!

See the Guide: Moral Disengagement!

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