Philadelphia, PA – Emmanuel Fombu, Medical Director at Novartis was definitely one of the most dynamic presenters at Patient USA. He told stories about trying to change language, build value, and future proof our organizations against his prediction for the next big pharma company: Google.
One of the memorable stories he reminded us of is the Delmar Divide. Delmar Boulevard cuts straight through the middle of St Louis, MO. It separates the largely white community to the south from the mostly black community to the north. But it’s also a huge healthcare divide. Below Delmar, healthy people are living longer, have easy access to fruits and vegetables and have convenient access to healthcare providers. Above there are fewer healthy people, fewer hospitals and higher rates of important health indicators like heart disease and infant mortality.
A report from Washington University in St Louis, called For the Sake Of All, dug into the real life experience and the numbers on both sides of that line.
- Average home value: $78,000 (north) vs. $310,000 (south)
- Percent who say it’s easy to purchase healthy food in their neighborhood: 71% (north) vs 81% (south)
- Percent who received inadequate prenatal care: 27% (north) vs 5% (south)
- Every life expectancy: 67 years (north) vs 85 years (south)
Fombu said this kind of awareness and knowledge is important because we have important problems to solve. As we shift from volume to value, our role is providing more than just medicine. It’s medicine + service and relevant support. That’s healthcare.