Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing racial justice movement, the nation’s health care system is in a period of reckoning regarding its role in perpetuating racial health inequities. Cancer-related health disparities, in particular, demonstrate the complicated impact of racism exacerbated by policy, health care systems, and environmental factors for communities of color. Institutional racism and associated impacts, such as social segregation and intergenerational trauma are fundamental causes of these health disparities. Other causes include mistrust of medical providers by communities of color, implicit and explicit biases by providers and health care systems, and racist health care system policies. Yet, there is a lack of understanding about what strategies health care systems can use to effectively mitigate health disparities and confront the institutional racism that drives these inequities.

This webinar made possible with support from Genentech, a member of the Roche group, explored anti-racist practices and trauma-informed approaches to influencing health care system and provider culture to address racism and racial health disparities. A panel discussed opportunities to advance anti-racist and trauma-informed care practices by: (1) identifying potential strategies that health systems and providers can use to influence provider culture from within; (2) examining the intersections between anti-racism and trauma-informed care; and (3) elevating the role of community partnerships to advance this work.

YouTube video


I. Welcome and Introduction

Speaker: Shilpa Patel, PhD, Associate Director of Health Equity, Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS)

S. Patel welcomed participants to the webinar and provided an overview of the objectives of the Co-Creating Solutions to Address Racism and Disparities in Oncology project.  

II. Panel Discussion

Facilitator: Shilpa Patel

Panel: Dana Crawford, PhD, Scholar-in-Residence, Zuckerman Institute, Columbia University; Ken Epstein, PhD, LCSW, P.R.E.P. for Change Consulting; Danica Richards, LSW, Program Officer CHCS

The panel discussion began with a brief disclosure and reflection exercise, led by D. Crawford and K. Epstein. S. Patel then facilitated a conversation with the national organizational and systems culture change experts, who shared insights on the importance of health system and community partnerships in initiating culture change, and where there might be opportunities to implement anti-racist practices to address racism and racial health disparities within systems of care that aim to improve care delivery for people with complex health and social needs. D. Richards also shared emerging lessons from CHCS’ Co-Creating Solutions to Address Racism and Disparities in Oncology project, related to developing strong health system and community partnerships, as well as insights from other CHCS work focused on the intersections of trauma-informed care and anti-racism.

III. Moderated Q&A

Moderator: Shilpa Patel