In a 2019 study by the Department of Population Health at the New York University’s School of Medicine, Washington, D.C. ranked second among the 500 largest U.S. cities for highest life expectancy gaps between racially and ethnically segregated neighborhoods.
Residents of the nation’s capital face a life expectancy gap of 27.5 years between the city’s most affluent neighborhoods and its most underserved communities, which house a large percentage of the city’s Black residents.
“[It’s an] unacceptable reality in one of the most powerful cities in the world,” says Michael Crawford, MBA, MHL, associate dean for strategy, outreach, and innovation at Howard University College of Medicine, affiliated with association member Howard University Hospital, in Washington, D.C., and founder and executive director of Howard University’s 1867 Health Innovations Project.
Having worked in health care for more than two decades, Crawford has long been familiar with the intersections of public health, finance, strategy, policy, innovation, and strategic partnerships in the space. In his previous role of chief of staff at Unity Healthcare, Crawford took an interest in the unique role digital health technology could play to eradicate gaps in care and offer patients within medically underserved communities greater medical autonomy.