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New Textbook Provides Effective Ways to Recognize, Address and Eliminate Health Disparities to Enable Equitable, Effective Health Care

(Cleveland) – Adam Perzynski, PhD; Ifeolorunbode (Bode) Adebambo, MD; and Sarah Schick, MA, have compiled a textbook, “Health Disparities, Weaving a New Understanding Through Case Narratives,” to provide an understanding of health disparities from the perspective of health care professionals and patients. Readers of the book engage in effective and emotional learning as well as practical and cognitive learning modes.

The book provides a series of rich cases depicting experiences, consistent with the preferred and traditional learning modality of health professions. Also included are activities tools, learning exercises, references and resources for further study.

This accessible volume challenges professionals to understand and help correct health disparities. Contributors focus on marginalized populations, the role of healthcare systems in perpetuating inequities, the need for deeper engagement and listening by professionals, and the need for advocacy within professional education and the political/policy arena.

The compelling case narratives at the core of the book illustrate the interrelated biopsychosocial components of patients’ health problems and the gradations of learning needed for practitioners to address them effectively. The book’s tools for developing a health disparities curriculum include a selection of workshop exercises, facilitator resources and a brief guide to writing effective case narratives. A sampling of the narratives: “Finding the Person in Patient-Centered Health Care” race/ethnicity/culture); “The Annual Big Girl / Big Boy Exchange” (gender); “Just Give Me Narcan and Let Me Go” (poverty/addiction); “Everyone Called Him Crazy” (immigration); “Adrift in the System” (disability); “Aging out of Pediatrics” (mental illness and stigma) and “Time to Leave” (LGBT).

“Health Disparities, Weaving a New Understanding Through Case Narratives,” will be of considerable interest to researchers and practitioners interested in public health, population health, health disparities and related fields such as sociology, social work and narrative medicine. Its wealth of educational features also makes it a quality training text.

The three editors are associated with The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, OH. Adam Perzynski, PhD, a sociologist, is at MetroHealth’s Center for Health Care Research and Policy and is an Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine. Ifeolorunbode (Bode) Adebambo, MD, is in MetroHealth’s Department of Family Medicine and is an Associate Professor at CWRU School of Medicine. Sarah Schick is a former research associate at MetroHealth’s Center for Health Care Research and Policy. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at CWRU. Dozens of clinicians from MetroHealth and other institutions around the country contributed chapters to the book.

“Health Disparities, Weaving a New Understanding Through Case Narratives,” was published by Springer Nature Switzerland AG, Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

It is available wherever books are sold, including:



About The MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.

The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.

Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.

The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.

For more information, visit metrohealth.org.