Joseph Webb, D.Sc., FACHE, CEO, Nashville General Hospital

BY CHRISTOPHER CHENEY

Nashville General Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, is committed to addressing social determinants of health and health equity.
Social determinants of health such as food security and housing have a greater impact on health outcomes than clinical care. Health equity has become a hot topic in healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic, with the disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations such as African Americans highlighting health inequities in the United States.

The national health inequities during the pandemic have played out in the Nashville area, says Joseph Webb, DSc, MS, chief executive officer of Nashville General Hospital. “We have a marginalized population. We have the disproportionate impact that occurs on certain populations—which has been pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health disparities seem to surface with any type of epidemic or pandemic particularly as it relates to the marginalized population.”

Nashville General Hospital has several programs targeting social determinants of health and health equity, including a “food pharmacy” that addresses food insecurity and an initiative featuring faith-based organizations that focuses on education attainment, health literacy, and healthcare access.