Akron: Jennifer Savitski, M.D., chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cleveland Clinic Akron General, has been named to a two-year term on the Ohio Commission on Minority Health by Gov. Mike DeWine.
This commission originated in 1987, the first such panel in the United States, with a mission to work to eliminate disparities in minority health through innovative strategies and financial opportunities, public health promotion, legislative action, public policy and systems change. It seeks to achieve health parity among Ohio’s minority populations, including African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans or others.
Dr. Savitski said that mission is in alignment with the work she has been doing for years to help reduce the poor health outcomes disproportionately experienced by mothers and babies in Akron’s minority populations.
“We know social determinants of health such as housing, healthcare and access to nutritious food play a significant role in health outcomes and the commission is focused on helping move the metrics on infant mortality, as well as cancer, diabetes, substance abuse, violence and more,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the commission’s list of priorities hasn’t changed since it was founded, which shows how much institutional change still needs to happen for us to really move the needle on these issues,” she said. “My goal in joining this commission is to continue to work to decrease the health disparities that persist in all areas, but most especially maternal health issues.”
The commission is comprised of representatives of public health agencies as well as gubernatorial appointees.
“It is an impressive group and I am very excited to be involved with it,” she added.