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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, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building and the 25 acres of green space around it are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.

MetroHealth broke ground on its new hospital in 2019. The project is being financed with nearly $1 billion the system borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 40% and its number of employees by 21%. Today, its staff of nearly 8,000 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75% of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

The health system 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 teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.

For more information, visit metrohealth.org.