Vikki Walton, MBA, a health equity leader at Mercer, recently gave a presentation at the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health (GPBCH), discussing the role employers can play in improving health equity through their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) strategies. Walton emphasized the need for employers to address health equity within their benefits but acknowledged that many struggle to understand how to do so.
In her presentation, Walton outlined how Mercer’s health equity consulting group assists employers in identifying gaps in their benefits and developing inclusive strategies. They work closely with employers, partnering with physicians and other stakeholders to improve the health of their employees over time. Given that employers provide coverage for approximately 50% of employees in the US, their role in promoting health equity is crucial within the broader healthcare ecosystem.
Mercer’s work in improving DE&I strategies extends across various industries, including not only health-specific employers but also manufacturers, retailers, and nonprofit organizations with employees. Their focus is on supporting employers who provide healthcare and health insurance for their employees, ensuring that the benefits offered are inclusive. When gaps and disparities are identified, such as in populations with diabetes, mental health conditions, or chronic illnesses, Mercer works with employers to address these challenges and promote equity.