Our Patient Advisors have been deeply involved in the development of the Hypertension Equity Workgroup being led by LaKisha Garduño, M.D., who is a physician at Potrero Hill Health Center. Some of the main goals of this Workgroup have been to empower hypertensive African-American patients who receive care in the SFHN by providing them culturally competent educational materials on blood pressure control, and by engaging patients and clinical management and staff in having discussions about current hypertension data and how the data can lead us to develop more interventions.
Patient Advisers have been with the Workgroup since its initiation last August, and the conversations about intervention best practices have been derived from the very personal stories the Advisers have been able to share to the group. The Workgroup pushes beyond the scope of treating Hypertension as solely a clinical issue, and as a team they are redefining the roles of everyone there: where patients can help create treatment options and non-physician professionals are being able to provide extra support beyond the exam room.
The Hypertension Equity Workgroup has been working diligently to finalize the type of work plan that will encompass a multi-disciplinary approach in stopping and preventing this disease. Ms. Rosalyn Frazier, a Patient Adviser from Maxine Hall Health Center, has been a member of Maxine Hall for seven years and has been a part of her PAC for one year. She has mentioned the significance of her clinic’s Therapeutic Food Pantry Program to the Hypertension Workgroup as a deliverable action for next year. As a non-pharmaceutical approach to treating hypertension and various other health ailments, her input to the larger work group about the positive effects of providing nutritious food to her clinic was an inspiration to other members at the meeting who felt the impact to implement something similar at their home clinics.
The demographics of the Hypertension Equity Workgroup are a reflection of the kind of care this intervention will provide to our patients in the Network. There are research grant coordinators, patient navigators, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and quality improvement analysts who attend these meetings early on Friday mornings, and our Patient Advisers are sitting at those same tables making change for all our patients.