Meredith Cohn's article, "Baltimore City Health Department unveils plan to address health disparities" (Aug. 30), calls attention to a critical issue that affects too many underserved communities in cities like Baltimore. We are long overdue for a nationwide effort to reduce the disparities that exist in the delivery of health care — especially for low-income and minority populations which experience disproportionately high cases of disease, receive a lower quality of care and face several barriers to accessing care.
I applaud the Baltimore City Health Department's leadership on this issue and believe that with federal support, we can make meaningful strides. In Congress, we must continue to bring together public and private stakeholders in an effort to address health disparities. That is why I've joined with the University of Maryland and the Big Ten Academic Alliance in hosting a roundtable on Sept. 8 featuring leaders from federal, state and private industry about the disparities in our health care system and how we can improve health equity in our country.
No state is more uniquely positioned to eliminate health care disparities than Maryland. The diversity of our state, combined with our unique resources like the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland — along with many cutting-edge medical clinics and advocacy organizations — present Maryland with an opportunity to lead the nation in improving the quality of care for all Americans.
John Sarbanes, Towson
The writer, a Democrat, represents Maryland's 3rd Congressional District and serves on the House Subcommittee on Health.