Ko, who works on the Foundation's Specialty Care for Vulnerable Populations initiative, began looking more closely at health disparities in Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and realized there were significant hurdles in access to care.
"Health disparities are often discussed alongside social determinants of health like unaffordable housing, food scarcity or lack of insurance," said Ko, whose father-in-law moved to the United States in 1987 from China. "But for some populations, there are also cultural determinants like language barriers and differing cultural traditions and beliefs."
Another significant challenge that minority patient populations face is often they are underrepresented in critical healthcare conversations. At Bristol Myers Squibb, members of the company’s eight People and Business Resource Groups – more than 12,500 members in total -- are setting out to ensure diverse perspectives and voices are not only included and heard, but that advances in health equity are made.