Vice President for Health Equity and Clinical Care at Cone Health, Dr. Olu Jegede, highlights a concerning health disparity in Greensboro. According to a map from 2022, just five miles north of Moses Cone Hospital, people have the opportunity to live up to 85 years of age.
“If you come back to Moses Cone again and you drive five miles south, the average life expectancy there is about 70 years of life, and so we’re talking about a fifteen-minute drive distance, and you lose fifteen years within a five-mile radius of a major hospital,” said Jegede.
He points out this disparity is observed throughout the city, exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19. Dr.
“It used to be about 13, 14 years gap, and now it’s 15,” said Jegede.
He attributes this to certain diseases, particularly cardiometabolic wellness, cancer, and infant mortality.
Dr. Jegede says structural racism, stemming from discriminatory loan practices decades ago and a lack of generational wealth, is a root cause.
“Access to good housing, food, transportation, and even the little things like exercise, and where you can go to have physical activities,” said Jegede.
In response to these issues, Cone Health and the City of Greensboro have partnered to provide healthy living programs at the future Windsor Chavis Nocho Community Complex to help reduce the disparity and Cone Health offers free mobile health screenings, connecting individuals to providers if needed.
“We will connect them to affordable care regardless of their ability to pay,” said Jegede.