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June 16, 1993

Foundations Join to Help End Health Care Barriers

JAMA. 1993;269(23):2960. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500230042007

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A NEW private-sector attempt to address the disparities that exist in the use and quality of health care services enjoyed by various groups in the United States is set to begin this week.

"Opening Doors: A Program to Reduce Sociocultural Barriers to Health Care" is a $5.5-million joint effort made by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ, and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif. The national program will provide grants for demonstration and research projects that are to explore ways of improving access to maternal, child, and reproductive health services.

The projects, whether conducted by community groups, health care organizations, or government agencies, will seek to comprehend and compensate for recognized but so far unremedied barriers to health care. Among the difficulties in providing medical and preventive health services to people across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines are cultural differences between those who provide care and