The Alzheimer’s Association focuses on the needs and concerns of families living with personal challenges of different types of Dementia. The entire organization pours extreme energy into excavating global research that leads to prevention and early detection.
The Los Angeles Sentinel had an exclusive interview with Carl V. Hill, Ph.D., MPH, and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for the Alzheimer’s Association.
According to the association’s special report, “Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s in America,” more than six million Americans are living with a variation of an Alzheimer’s disease this year. Among that population, the impact of the disease varies in different ethnic and racial groups.
Black Americans are twice as likely to develop an illness related to Alzheimer’s disease, in comparison to other racial groups. The study conducted by the Alzheimer’s Association also concluded the Latin x community is 1.5 times as likely to have dementia when compared to other demographics.
Alzheimer’s affects the lives of those who are experiencing it and attaches itself to their community of loved ones. The racial disparity found within the general care of Alzheimer’s patients carries the same viral weakness. The special report recorded approximately more than half of the caregivers that were people of color, found levels of discrimination when setting up care for their patients.
The special report stated, “Discrimination is the barrier to Alzheimer’s and dementia care.” It explained the major concerns surrounding people of color, experiencing the challenges of dementia and how stems from the lack of confidence that they would receive proper support.
The report’s fact sheet stated 53 percent of Black Americans “trust a future cure for Alzheimer’s will be shared equally regardless of race, color or ethnicity,” leaving a little less than half of the studied population questioning the equality in health care needs.
Looking at the cost of care over time, Alzheimer’s patients needed a total financial strategy of $355 billion to supply various needs and programs. This was based on their financial projection that took place in 2021.
The 2021 special report, is an “Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures is a statistical resource for U.S. data related to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia.” The 85-page report covers a breadth of context that prioritizes the concerns of people, directly and indirectly, experiencing Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Hill is the chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for the Alzheimer’s Association. He has sat at the helm of strong initiatives to directly respond to the needs of the Association’s outreach. Under his leadership, there have been programs focused on providing communities with the proper support to address Alzheimer’s concerns. He has devoted his energy to focusing on the racial aspect of disproportionate care and outcomes within healthcare.
“The science of considering populations that are disproportionately affected by various health outcomes is critical for protecting public health. Research suggests that what we experience in early life and through adulthood can significantly influence our ability to thrive as seniors,” said Hill in a prior interview with the National Institute of Aging.
According to a profile article published on the official website for Morehouse School of Medicine, Hill has always been dedicated to finding innovative ways to inclusion within healthcare. When choosing an academic institution Hill wanted to find one that was aligned with his morals of equality and he found that at Morehouse.
He stated, “In being part of the inaugural Master of Public Health degree program class, I was attracted to being part of the first MPH program at an HBCU and helping Drs. Bill Jenkins, Noble Maseru, Patricia Rodney, Zara Sadler, and Dan Blumenthal – against very huge odds – make an impact in diversifying the public health workforce.”
As chief of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Dr. Hill conducts a channel between organizations and developing cross-functional communities to address the need for diversity, equity, and conclusion. During an exclusive interview with the Executive Publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel, Danny Bakewell Jr., Dr. Hill elaborated on this intense focal point on Black people surviving the challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Some of the topics include “Preparing the Workforce to Care for a Racially and Ethnically Diverse Population of Older Adults” (Special Report — Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s in America, page 18) and the statistical results of this chronic mental illness affecting people differently based off their race.
Solutions prepared to combat the noted racial disparities include reimaging the training and application of care towards racially diverse patients.
The special report stated, “Earlier reports on racial and ethnic differences in Alzheimer’s health care have proposed cultural competence education as one solution to address disparities.” (Special Report — Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s in America, page 79).
The report declares in confidence that training healthcare professionals to recognize and overcome “implicit bias,” would be an effective strategy in eliminating some of the current racial disparities.
Racial discrimination among general health care has been verified through multiple studies throughout years, between 2015 to 2016, Adult California Health Interview Survey concluded, that “discrimination in a clinical setting that make[s] a person less likely to have a future interaction with health care,” this information was provided in the Special Report — Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s in America (page 79).