I went to Maimonides and learned how ethnic and religious diversity affects healthcare and what doctors need to consider as the populations they serve change.
…When he arrived 41 years ago, diversity meant having Orthodox Jews and other Jews in the same space. Jablon, who is Jewish, said his main job was to get them all to get along.
…That’s all changed. Maimonides is located Brooklyn’s Borough Park, a neighborhood that’s still home one of the largest Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish populations in the US, but also new immigrants from China and the Arab world. Adjacent communities served by the hospital are predominantly Latino or home to European immigrants.
…It’s not just about dealing with language barriers. Our cultural backdrop affects how we talk about illness and death, and our ethnicity can make us more prone to develop diseases like diabetes or certain cancers, and the doctors at Maimonides have to think about every way they engage with new or different communities — all the way down to how they decorate.