Racial & Ethnic Factors Impacting the Treatment of Chronic Illness: How Social Workers Can Intervene in the Health Care Environment


Wednesday, March 25, 2020 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

NYU Silver School of Social Work 
1 Washington Square North
New York, NY 10003

NYSED Approved for 3 CE contact hours


In the United States, there are disparities in healthcare outcomes within various minority groups. For treatment of chronic illness, such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, clinical outcomes for minority populations are worse than for Non-Hispanic whites with the same illness. For example, Blacks had statistically significantly higher mortality rates related to diabetes when compared to non-Hispanic whites in 39 of the 41 cities included in a recent 2014 study. Mexican Americans have higher rates of uncontrolled High Blood Pressure than non-Hispanic whites. Asian Americans are 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. These diagnostic differences cannot be solely attributed to race and are more so the result of racial disparities. Racism and bias in healthcare impacts adherence to medical regimens and medications in minority populations when treated in traditional U.S. healthcare systems. Social workers must begin to explore the impact of unconscious bias and racism with clients and medical providers in order to make successful changes in the healthcare environment. This workshop will address how racism and unconscious bias in healthcare currently impacts healthcare disparities.  

Learning Objectives


  • Understand the history of racism and unethical practices in the American healthcare system.
  •  Understand the issue of unconscious bias in healthcare and how it impacts minorities.
  • Create psychosocial assessments with clients that explore mistrust of medical systems and how to help mitigate it.


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Carolyn Hutson, LCSW-R

Ms. Hutson graduated from NYU in 1989 and has primarily worked in health care. She has worked at Bellevue Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center with various populations of patients who suffer from chronic and life-threatening illness- including AIDS, liver transplant, and dialysis patients. 

She has been on faculty at Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service and is currently on faculty at Columbia’s Graduate School of Social Work. Ms. Hutson is currently a clinical instructor at the Ichan Medical School at Mount Sinai.

Lastly, she has also published several articles including in the following journals:

Journal of Social Work and Health Care
“Mining Clinical Information in the Utilization of Social Services:  Practioners Inform Themselves”  (2001)

Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
"Childhood Abuse, Non-adherence and Medical Outcome in Pediatric Liver Transplant Recipients"  (2007)