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Disparity in Rehabilitation: Another Inconvenient Truth

  • Kenneth M. Jaffe
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author Kenneth M. Jaffe, MD, University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center, and the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Box 359740, 325 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104.
    Affiliations
    Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

    Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

    Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Nathalia Jimenez
    Affiliations
    Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

    Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
    Search for articles by this author
      On the 50th anniversary of the passage of America's Voting Rights Act and the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, with the country confronting an ever-increasing diversification of its population, we are still grappling with structural racialization and its inextricable link to poverty. Economic inequality is the highest it has been since 1928. Disparity, with its fractal-like presence, permeates far too many facets of our society including employment opportunity, law enforcement, criminal justice, education, housing, voting rights, and financial lending. Our health care system is an integral part of this troubling phenomenon with systems, structures, and processes of care that reinforce disparity, the root causes of which are complex, troubling, and without simple solutions.
      • Smedley B.D.
      • Stith A.Y.
      • Nelson A.R.
      Unequal treatment: confronting racial and ethnic disparities in health care [executive summary].
      • Institute of Medicine
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      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      CQI (continuous quality improvement), NHB (non-Hispanic black), NHW (non-Hispanic white), SCI (spinal cord injury), TBI (traumatic brain injury)
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