Healthcare Equity Consult Service launches Aug. 1

July 29, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

Bias, discrimination and inequities have long existed within the U.S. health care system, and the COVID-19 pandemic only made them more visible.

Health care inequities are related to personal demographics such as race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and ability, to name a few, that intersect with other social determinants of health. Together, the health care disparities many patients and families face are exacerbated throughout institutions in our country and at Michigan Medicine.

At U-M Health, we are taking the proper steps to create a more inclusive environment. In support of patients, their families, faculty, staff, student and trainee learners, U-M Health is launching the Healthcare Equity Consult Service or HECS.

This consult service will meet patients (and families) at the bedside to understand and address any concerns about the inequitable delivery of care with planned resolution in 24-48 hours when possible. If there is concern that medical care has been impacted by bias or discrimination, HECS will work with a trained interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains to resolve their concerns and promote long-term institutional learning.

The service is launching on Aug. 1 as a five-month pilot in inpatient adult, children’s and women’s hospitals. After evaluating initial findings, the organization will consider expanding services to outpatient clinics.

HECS is led by Okeoma Mmeje, M.D., M.P.H, U-M Medical Group associate chief clinical officer for health equity. The service will be staffed by social work and spiritual care case managers.

Meet the case managers:

  • Kamau Ayubbi (he/him/his), staff chaplain, Spiritual Care
  • LJ Brazier, Mdiv, M.S. (they/them), staff chaplain, Spiritual Care
  • Samantha Guyah, LMSW (she/her/hers), clinical social worker, Northville Health Center
  • Syma Khan, M.S.W., M.P.H. (she/her/hers), clinical social worker, Department of Psychiatry
  • Prianka Shakil-Brown, LMSW (she/her/hers), clinical social worker, Stepping Stones Pediatric Palliative Care

HECS can be requested by all care team members, including students, trainee learners, and patients and their family members. HECS is not an investigative service and will not provide recommendations for disciplinary actions when a consult is requested.

After the consult is completed, HECS will coordinate with the appropriate department(s) if further action is indicated.

Methods of requesting a consult:

  • Pager #38571
  • MiChart order – “Healthcare Equity Consult”

For more information, review the flyer, FAQs and visit the patient facing website.