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Promoting Health Equity by Caring for All Communities

Did you know that close to one-third of Americans live in an area with a primary care shortage? As a primary care doctor myself, I am passionate about improving the lives of my patients by providing cost-effective, quality care, in their neighborhood. This is why I work at Village Medical™, where we believe deeply in the importance of health equity and access to care.

What is Health Equity?

Health equity can be a difficult concept to understand, even more difficult to achieve but, in my opinion, will always be worth fighting to achieve. The meaning of health equity for me is the ability to reach the highest level of health possible, for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, economic status or location. Every patient deserves a fair opportunity to access high-quality, affordable health care to be as healthy as they can possibly be.

The burden of this health inequity typically falls on racial minorities and lower-income communities, who tend to have higher rates of chronic disease and worse health results. The people and communities with the greatest needs often have the fewest resources and often require more, not equal, effort and resources to level the playing field. As a primary care doctor, I’m working to promote health equity for all my patients.

Bringing Care to Communities that Need it the Most

Everyone deserves a trusting relationship with a primary care doctor and to us at Village Medical, that means providing high-quality health care in underserved communities. In fact, we have committed to opening hundreds of new practices in medically underserved rural and urban areas across the country, bringing primary care providers (PCP) and convenient health care to the communities that need it most.

Like many PCPs, for most of my career, I practiced in an environment where the number of patients seen is prioritized over the quality of the care they may individually receive. Village Medical flips that model on its head so instead of focusing on the number of patients I see every day, I can focus on spending more time with my patients during their visits and helping them reach their individual health needs as a result.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Embedded in our Culture

Village Medical is a leader in addressing health equity because we have taken steps to embed diversity, equity and inclusion into our company culture. We can't make progress towards health equity unless we look like it and live it each and every day. Our diverse workforce of doctors, advanced practice providers*, nurses, medical assistants and care managers represent many different backgrounds and cultures and help us to better understand the communities we serve.

I understand the importance of community, especially when it comes to underserved populations. At my practice, I am bringing quality care to a population that not only looks like me but often does not receive the best care. About 90% of my patients are Black. It is empowering that I can open these communities up to a wealth of health resources and benefits that, in our traditional model, have long been out of reach.

As a leader in value-based care across communities, Village Medical aims to understand and reduce healthcare disparities by improving access to high-quality care and results for underserved populations. We will continue to work toward building a strong primary care system in the United States because that is what is needed to make advancements in health equity.

Dr. Clyde Watkins Jr. is a Village Medical Physician in the Atlanta, Georgia area with a specialty in primary care and medical interests in diabetes, hypertension and colon cancer screening.