Breaking Down Barriers, Advancing Health Equity
February 18, 2021 at 05:15 AM EST
Waking up each day with good health is something people no longer take for granted. But, the reality is, there are vast disparities in who has good health, and who doesn’t.
These health disparities are often driven by interconnected social and economic issues like poverty, structural racism, and access to healthcare, education and opportunity. The challenges are immense, and the numbers are startling. There's a seven-year difference in life expectancy between different racial and ethnic groups. Low-income Americans are five times more likely to report poorer health, and have higher rates of physical limitation, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other chronic conditions. These disparities are not new but they have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, as communities of color and low-income Americans face greater risks from the virus.
At Abbott, we're focused on advancing health equity through our business and in partnership with others. To deliver results, we've laid out long-term targets for our business as part of our 2030 Sustainability Plan, and we've made equitable care a key principle for our community partnerships.
Advancing innovation, access and affordability
Our purpose is to help people live fully – and we do that by committing day in and day out to creating new technologies that improve people’s lives. Pursuing this purpose means we need to create products that are not just effective, but are affordable and accessible to more people who need them. That's why we focus on intentionally designing these elements into the core of how we create new products to improve the health of more people, in more places than ever before.
This approach already has allowed us to make an important impact in the fight against COVID-19, transform the management of diabetes, and extend the reach of heart tech to newborns in need. To learn more, see our story, Innovating for Access Now and in the Future.
Addressing racial health disparities
An important part of our work to advance health equity are targeted efforts to address health disparities and advance care for diseases that have an outsized impact on communities of color. That's why we work to remove barriers to access through innovative partnerships and programs:
Meeting community needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit vulnerable communities especially hard. Building on our significant work to advance COVID-19 testing, Abbott and the Abbott Fund have provided more than $24 million in support globally to strengthen health systems and communities, including targeted work in the U.S. to advance health equity. Here's just a few examples:
Removing barriers to health
Abbott also is working to address the social determinants of health, the interconnected factors in our everyday lives – including healthcare, education, the environment, structural racism, economic opportunity and others – that impact our health and drive health disparities. Abbott and the Abbott Fund have partnerships that address these challenges through community-driven efforts:
These are just some examples of our work to advance health equity, specific to the U.S. We also have longstanding, significant work in other countries around the world – you can find out more and see examples at Abbott.com/Sustainability, and also on the Social Impact section of our site.
Tweet me: By advancing health equity and removing barriers to care, Abbott is working across its business and in partnership with others to help more people get the care they need. https://bit.ly/2M0sqvX @AbbottNews
KEYWORDS: NYSE:ABT, Abbott, COVID, COVID-19, COVID-19 Testing