ISC 2020: Pre-Conference Symposium III: HEADS-UP: Health Equity and Actionable Disparities in Stroke: Understanding and Problem-Solving (AM Session)
International Stroke Conference
Pre-Conference Symposia: February 18, 2020
Sessions: February 19–21, 2020
Rachel Forman, MD
I had the privilege to attend this important symposium shedding light on different aspects of stroke disparities. As someone who is passionate about stroke community education and addressing healthcare disparities, it was really incredible to be able to listen in person to people I have admired throughout my training. The symposium was moderated by Drs. Bruce Ovbiagele and Amytis Towfighi.
The first talk was by Dr. Mitchell Elkind (Columbia University), who began by describing disparities: “… a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage.” He also mentioned that approximately 1/3 of people in the United States, or more than 100 million people, identify as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority population. Another interesting point from the discussion is that Hispanic and Asian men and women are less likely to use EMS versus white men and women, and that black women are less likely than white women to use EMS (Journal of the American Heart Association, Smith 2015). We were then introduced to his work with the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS): a study of the population in Washington Heights (beginning in 1990) that has enrolled over 4,400 people from the surrounding community with neurological conditions. This work is ongoing and exciting (and, importantly, includes a diverse patient population).