Bringing the Love: Equity In Healthcare

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What’s at the heart of healthcare disparities in America? In this episode of Add Passion and Stir, Grantmakers In Health (GIH) President and CEO Faith Mitchell and Washington Post Food and Dining Editor Joe Yonan talk about equity, the long-term effects of stress, and healthy cooking. “The interest in what we now call equity really started in the mid-80’s,” says Mitchell about the differences in health outcomes among ethnic and racial populations. “It’s many-pronged effort at this point. You have people in healthcare settings who are trying to equalize outcomes,” she shares. Yonan emphasizes diversity in his own work in the newsroom and recently released America The Great Cookbook, proceeds from which support No Kid Hungry. “The thing I think I’m proudest of about the book is the sheer diversity of the group of people in the book. It’s all walks of life, all colors, ages,” he says. “The same diversity I went for in the cookbook, I want to show up in the food coverage of the Washington Post.”

Well-known for his writing on the intersection of food and health and the value of cooking at home, Yonan believes, “People eat healthier food if they make it for themselves.” Mitchell, whose grandfather was a West-Indian chef and caterer, notes the importance of home cooking and family meals in her own life. “These days cooking at home feels very revolutionary,” she says. In both her personal and professional lives, Mitchell believes in the importance how you treat other people on a daily basis. “So much comes down to whether…you’re bringing love to that interaction or whether you’re bringing anger or hostility or stress,” she says. Inspired, Debbie Shore closes the conversation, “I’m going to show some love today!”

Share in this wide-ranging discussion about the effects of diversity, equity and healthy eating.

Resources and Mentions:

Joe Yonan

Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post, supervising all food coverage in the features department. He is also the editor of “America The Great Cookbook” (Weldon Owen, 2017) and has written two cookbooks for Ten Speed Press: “Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook” (2013) and “Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One” (2011). Yonan was a food writer and Travel section editor at the Boston Globe before moving to Washington in 2006 to edit The Post’s Food section. He writes The Post’s Weeknight Vegetarian column and for five years wrote the Cooking for One column, both of which have won honors from the Association of Food Journalists. He also has written about his efforts to grow food on his 150-square-foot urban front yard. His work from the Globe and The Post has appeared in multiple editions of the “Best Food Writing” anthology. Yonan, who grew up in West Texas, spent 2012 in North Berwick, Maine, on leave from The Post to learn about growing and homesteading from his sister and brother-in-law and to work on “Eat Your Vegetables.” He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.

Faith Mitchell

President and CEO of Grantmakers In Health (GIH), where she was previously Vice President for Program and Strategy. Prior to joining GIH, Dr. Mitchell was Senior Program Officer at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) where she was responsible for the health disparities portfolio. Dr. Mitchell spent 12 years at the National Academies, both at the IOM and as a Center Director in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Education. She has also held leadership positions at the U.S. Department of State, The San Francisco Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Throughout her career, Dr. Mitchell has worked on the application of social science to domestic and international public policy, health policy, and programs. She is a frequent writer on health-related topics and most recently published the articles “New Directions For Foundations In Health Equity,” with Patricia Doykos and Kristina Gray-Akpa, Innovations in Health Equity and Health Philanthropy, and Enabling Effective Health Philanthropy. Dr. Mitchell holds a doctorate in medical anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

Root Cause Coalition

The Root Cause Coalition is a national, member-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the root causes of health disparities by focusing on hunger and other social determinants leading to nationwide epidemic of preventable chronic health conditions.

The Washington Post

A major American daily newspaper founded on December 6, 1877. It is the largest newspaper published in Washington, DC and has a particular emphasis on national politics. Its slogan is “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” The newspaper has won 47 Pulitzer Prizes. Post journalists have also received 18 Nieman Fellowships and 368 White House News Photographers Association awards.

Grantmakers in Health

A nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to helping foundations and corporate giving programs improve the health of all people. Its mission is to foster communication and collaboration among grantmakers and others, and to help strengthen the grantmaking community’s knowledge, skills, and effectiveness. They are committed to evidence-informed practice and work to promote discussion, questioning, and lively debate within the field. GIH focuses on excellence, equity, and building learning communities within health philanthropy.

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