Advancing Health Equity: Deloitte Launches ‘Illustrate Change’ Medical Illustration Library

Advancing Health Equity: Deloitte Launches ‘Illustrate Change’ Medical Illustration Library

Deloitte is proud to announce the launch of “Illustrate Change,” a project that seeks to build momentum around representation in medical illustrations and reduce health disparities among people of color, in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson. With its launch, Illustrate Change will immediately make available 25 diverse medical illustrations. The illustrations showcase the work and unique vision of Chidiebere Ibe. Ibe’s impactful Black fetus-in-womb illustration sparked a global conversation about representation in medical images in 2022. His work, alongside that of many other noteworthy medical illustrators, inspired this collaborative effort. Illustrate Change aims to build the largest library of diverse medical illustrations and demonstrates a commitment to address the lack of representation in medical imagery.

“The launch of Illustrate Change marks a step forward toward a more representative medical education system. Illustrations are an important visual tool used in both medical and patient education,” said Chidiebere Ibe, chief medical Illustrator of Illustrate Change. “I’m proud my illustrations will play a vital role in continuing to raise awareness of gaps in the representation of medical images. Closing these gaps helps avoid implicit bias within healthcare settings and increases awareness of how conditions present on different skin tones, which could have very critical implications for health outcomes. I hope these images inspire future generations of medical illustrators.”

Currently, less than 5% of medical images show dark skinOnly 8% of medical illustrators identify as people of color. The Illustrate Change digital library, made possible by a grant from the Johnson & Johnson ‘Our Race to Health Equity’ commitment, will house a collection of diverse medical illustrations across a range of health conditions. The library will continue to grow and evolve, reflecting a more representative patient population. The initial 25 images will represent 23 conditions across dermatology, maternal health, eye disease, oncology, general health, orthopedics, and hematology.

The Deloitte Health Equity Institute, in collaboration with Deloitte Digital, played a crucial role in helping to bring Illustrate Change to life. Inspired by the power of illustrations such as Chidiebere Ibe’s Black fetus in-womb, the Deloitte Digital team saw the need for a digital library that would increase diversity in the world of medical illustrations. Driven by the movement, the team connected the Deloitte Health Equity Institute and Johnson & Johnson with the proposal and led the development of the digital library. Healthcare leaders within the Deloitte Health Equity Institute shaped the strategic direction of the program, led cross-sector collaboration, and facilitated the medical review process alongside Johnson & Johnson.

“Illustrate Change is essential in addressing health disparities and achieving health equity. By increasing diversity in medical illustrations, we can help improve medical education, reduce bias, and ultimately provide better, safer, and higher quality care for everyone,” said Dr. Jay Bhatt, managing director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and Deloitte Health Equity Institute. “Deloitte is proud to be part of this much needed movement and to contribute our unique expertise across creativity, healthcare, and digital innovation.”

To further support the mission of Illustrate Change, Johnson & Johnson has engaged the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) to offer the AMI Diversity Fellowship. This fellowship program will nurture the training and education of 10 medical artists, encouraging them to create 100 new medical illustrations featuring patients of color over the next year.

“The lack of representation in medical imagery is an issue that directly impacts communities of color and their relationship with the healthcare system. This can lead to feelings of not being seen, and continue potential mistrust among communities of color,” said Vanessa Broadhurst, executive vice president of Global Corporate Affairs for Johnson & Johnson. “The AMI Diversity Fellowship is a unique component of Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to addressing racial biases in medicine, increasing representation in healthcare, and promoting health equity so that all communities can thrive.”

“Nurturing the training and education of medical artists from diverse backgrounds will naturally result in healthcare visuals that more accurately reflect the diverse patient population,” said Jill Gregory, president of the Association of Medical Illustrators. “Over time the Fellowship will endeavor to bring greater visibility to issues of health equity and increase the pipeline of medical and scientific illustrators from under-represented communities of color. This fellowship can not only amplify the voices of underrepresented communities but also contribute to the promotion of health equity and improved patient care.”

The Deloitte Health Equity Institute was established because of the stark inequities illuminated by COVID-19 and businesses had to lean in with other stakeholders to advance health equity as a moral and economic imperative. DHEI is addressing disparities in the drivers of health, racism/bias, and structural flaws in the health system. DHEI is focused on investing in programs to directly improve people’s lives, drive new approaches and tools to advance health equity, and activate key decision makers to help ensure that our health ecosystem is advancing health equity as an imperative. By advancing health equity, Deloitte aims to help everyone achieve their full potential in health and well-being, fostering a more equitable society.

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