A Letter from Adele Scielzo, COO, Advisory Board

At Advisory Board, we are committed to changing the business of health care for the better. As the nation grapples with the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and so many black Americans, I am flooded with messages from our members asking “What should I do?” and “How do I know if I am doing enough?”

As leaders and future leaders in the health care industry, you play a vital role here. Racism is, in fact, a health care issue. The enduring legacies of structural racism tie communities of color, particularly black communities, to intergenerational poverty. As a result, black Americans are more likely to face the negative social determinants of health, like food deserts and unaffordable housing. They’re also more likely to get sick and die from virtually all conditions—including Covid-19—and less likely to receive quality care. These factors lead to the staggering health inequities that we see in the black community. In our hometown of Washington, D.C., black residents experience a 15-year reduction in life expectancy compared to white residents.

At Advisory Board, we are committed to making a difference against the structural racism that is contributing to real health inequalities in our communities. We want to help you make a difference too. As a start, we’ve gathered a list of helpful resources. We’re sharing these resources with our staff, and we hope they will be helpful for you too.

We also are committed to hosting a series of conversations to continue this important dialogue. We’re beginning with the most recent episode of our podcast, "Radio Advisory." Host Rachel Woods joins Advisory Board’s workforce and HR research leader, Micha’le Simmons, and our health equity researcher, Darby Sullivan, to discuss why racism is a health care issue and what health care leaders can do about it.

This Thursday, Advisory Board’s VP of Executive Insights, Christopher Kerns—who has been hosting Advisory Board’s weekly webinars on the Covid-19 pandemic—will be discussing health leaders’ roles in combating structural racism and health inequities, including the disparate impact Covid-19 has had on communities of color around the country. He’ll be continuing to address this topic in an upcoming series as part of his Weekly Advisory webinars.

At Advisory Board, we share a mission with you to make health care better for everyone. While structural racism is a complex and multi-faceted problem without a singular or straightforward solution, I believe that every individual can make a difference and that together we can make real change happen.

With gratitude,


Adele Scielzo
COO, Advisory Board

What can you do next? Access Advisory Board's resources for health care leaders on addressing racism.

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Addressing racism: Resources for health care leaders

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