We believe everyone deserves equitable access to affordable healthcare, regardless of who they are.
The PAN Foundation and our Board of Directors recognize the importance of ensuring that health equity is at the forefront of our mission and programs. We acknowledge that systemic inequities have prevented historically marginalized and underserved populations from accessing affordable and quality healthcare. Together, we must enact change.
This is why we are committed to the following principles:
Providing financial assistance to patients who need it the most.
Partnering with organizations that work towards health equity.
Advocating for policies that promote health equity.
We express our organizational value of “intention” by making strategic, data-informed decisions around our approach to providing equitable financial assistance. We keep social drivers of health—such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic status, geographic location, education level—at the forefront of our minds as we invest deeply in building funds to serve those who are systemically marginalized due to these, or other, factors. Along the way, we use organization-wide scorecards to track our progress and adjust our approach, as needed.
We also build upon our long-standing relationships with our alliance partners and others to reach a broader, more diverse patient population. And through our nationwide presence at leading patient and healthcare provider conferences and events, we’re expanding our reach and cultivating new relationships to help ensure our financial assistance programs are inclusive and reaching those most in need.
We actively collaborate with organizations that share our commitment to health equity, such as the National Rural Health Association, Rare Disease Diversity Coalition, and the Root Cause Coalition. In addition, we engage with a broad network of national provider organizations to support patients from marginalized communities, including the National Medical Association, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, and the National Black Nurses Association.
Through our robust advocacy platform, we advocate for long-term, sustainable policies that address the root causes of health disparities and promote equitable access to healthcare for all. Specifically, we advocate for our policy positions around making healthcare affordable and accessible to all without discrimination and increasing diversity in clinical trials.
What is health equity?
Social drivers of health—such as income or education level, employment or housing status, or access to transportation or nutritious foods—can significantly impact health outcomes. These social drivers can also contribute to different health outcomes between certain populations or groups, which are known as health inequities or disparities.
According to the World Health Organization, “health equity is achieved when everyone can attain their full potential for health and well-being.”
To achieve equitable health outcomes for everyone, we must address the social, systemic, and structural factors contributing to these differences. This includes addressing issues of racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, classism, homophobia/transphobia, and xenophobia—among others.
PAN also acknowledges that intersecting identities—based on culture, class, gender, language, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, and lived experiences—impact how patients experience and navigate our healthcare system. Any efforts to address health equity must also take into consideration intersectionality.
Why health equity matters
It is estimated that racial and ethnic health disparities alone cost the U.S. $93 billion in annual excess medical care costs1. But more important than these excess costs, health disparities and inequities mean that certain populations are more likely to experience worse health outcomes, limited access to healthcare services, and lower quality of life based on social drivers of health. These social drivers of health impact more than 80 percent of health outcomes.
Leaving social factors unaddressed leads to disparities in health status, medication adherence, and disease outcomes. That’s why we are making health equity front-and-center in all that we do here at PAN.
1 Source: “The Business Case for Racial Equity,” Altarum website, accessed 21 September 2021.
Health Equity in Action
Join PAN and CVS Specialty for a four-part health equity webinar series to equip healthcare professionals and advocates with actionable strategies to help patients break down barriers to care.Learn more and sign up