AONL 2021: Williams equips nurse leaders to fight health care inequities

In a presentation packed with persuasive statistics and research findings, Harvard University professor David R. Williams, PhD, explained why race, ethnicity, education, income and the stressors associated with racism and discrimination can have a profound influence on a person’s health. He also shared some encouraging news. Researchers found no racial disparities in care when clinicians respected their patients and their families, listened to them and involved them in decisions about their care. The husband and son of nurses, Williams co-chaired the committee producing the National Academy of Medicine’s most recent Future of Nursing study, which he said will help “equip nurses to be active and engaged in improving the health of all Americans.” His presentation provided information on how health equities were exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic and what nurses can do to promote a more equitable future.