Guide

Understanding the impact chronic conditions have on BIPOC communities.

Inclusive Language Illustration

Understanding the impact chronic conditions have on BIPOC communities.

Black patients represent a third of all patients in the United States receiving dialysis for kidney failure.

What can you do: 

  • Know that it’s not always easy for BIPOC patients to be healthy because they may live and work in under-resourced communities, and may have less access to basic needs like adequate health insurance, and experience food insecurity. 
  • Utilize evidence-based preventative and treatment programs that reduce the likelihood of kidney disease. CMS, the NIH and the American Society of Nephrology have community-specific articles and guides.
  • Connect patients with care managers that can help them get prescriptions refills on time, remember to take their medicines as prescribed, and make it to follow-up appointments. 

Latinx patients are most likely (50%) to develop type 2 diabetes and at a younger age.

What can you do: 

  • Guide patients towards community resources such as the local farmers markets that contain healthy, affordable food options. 
  • Invite patients to share their history, culture, and traditions and collaborate to figure out how healthy eating could be incorporated into their lifestyle. 
  • Link lower income patients to social workers to assist them in navigating social services and apply for SNAP benefits.  

American Indian and Alaskan Native patients have a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease.

What can you do: 

  • Understand that current discrimination, coupled with historical intergenerational trauma, can impact Indigenous patients’ cardiovascular health and could lead to diseases like cardiometabolic disease (CMD). 
  • Encourage traditional Indigenous cultural activities and incorporate them into the patient’s clinical treatment plan. 

It is estimated that 1 in 12 Asian Americans are living with hepatitis B.

What can you do: 

  • Raise awareness of hepatitis that is thoughtful and culturally sensitive so that patients are empowered to take control of their health. 
  • Work alongside the community to improve hepatitis vaccination rates among Asian American children. 
  • Acquire knowledge from the patient to gauge their perception and understanding of the illness. 

Black patients are nearly three times more likely to die from asthma attacks.

What can you do:

  • Facilitate conversations where the patient is able to identify the triggers that lead to asthma attacks and reduce exposure.
  • Motivate the use of prescription medications for asthma and listen to the patient if thoughts of stigma or fear of medication use occurs. 

BIPOC communities face higher rates of diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart disease, and cancer.

What can you do:

  • Promote a trusting relationship based on encouraging BIPOC patients to ask questions and simplifying medical jargon.
  • Attend trainings that address the structural barriers BIPOC communities face that lead to chronic illnesses. 
  • Provide health literacy that is accessible for patients with different reading levels and for non-native English speakers. The CDC has a guide on how to put together easy to understand health literacy and education materials.

Things to consider.

01

Collaborate with patients, their families, and health care stakeholders to create a comprehensive and coordinated approach towards treatment while also lessening patient financial burden.

02

Reframe the conversation with BIPOC patients. Instead of placing the blame on a certain population or individual, starting a dialogue with patients on the problems found in social structures and within health care that has failed them.

Question to think about:

Have you thought about ways that you can lessen the burden on BIPOC patients with a recent chronic condition diagnosis?

Ask for pronouns
Ask how the patient is doing
Ask for consent before touching
All of the above