Jul 15, 2020
The recent, senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others have reignited much needed discussions on race, diversity, and inclusion. These deaths occurred amidst the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has further amplified the cries of black and brown communities. Communities that have long been ravaged by generations of health inequity and economic disparity. One’s zip code is often a powerful predictor of life expectancy, and the current national events are exposing the gaping chasm between those with means and those without.
The long standing health disparities in our country are also exacerbated by a corresponding gap in leveraging digital health solutions that are culturally and community-tailored for the hardest hit communities.
In October 2019, we launched Mount Sinai’s Diversity Innovation Hub (DIH) with the mission to support and encourage innovation that addresses social determinants of health (SDoH) for underrepresented and under-resourced populations while also increasing participation of minority and women entrepreneurs in health tech. Today, we are humbled to announce the launch of the Diversity Innovation Hub blog, DIH Voices. DIH Voices will showcase the work of individuals and companies who are addressing social determinants of health in innovative ways, call out the ways in which inequities have been further exposed and enabled by the pandemic, and to ideate about the future we want to live into.
Based in East Harlem, the DIH strives to recruit, retain, and collaborate with our community partners in order to nurture and build culturally and community-conscious solutions to overcome structural and individual-level obstacles to attaining appropriate and high quality healthcare. Black and Latinx founders receive only 1% of total VC funding. The DIH will be a space for ideas to come to life as our goal is to build capacity and release the untapped potential within communities of color, starting in our backyard.
There is no other time than now to call attention to the important, and often undiscussable, conversations about how racism, health inequity, and the perpetuation of social determinants of health that create disadvantage keep health disparities intact for marginalized and underrepresented populations. The DIH commits to being a loud and leading voice as the focus on addressing SDoH gains momentum in the evolving healthcare conversation. Please join us as we highlight and discuss new ideas and conversations to spark action and move us closer to a more equitable and just future.