From the Editor: IMPROVING DISPARITIES OF CARE

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By Daniel Claassen, MD

To say that 2020 has been a difficult year would be a wild understatement. I cannot begin to summarize the events over the last nine months, but can perhaps suggest that there is a great need for hope. We are living in a time where there is a strong momentum to improve disparities in the

care received by people throughout our country and world. How exciting! I believe Huntington disease is an important part of this story.

In this edition, we address disparities evident in HD. As you probably know, our podcast has received quite a following now, and one of the recent highlights was the interview with Dr. Munoz-Sanjuan (affectionately known to many as ‘Nacho’). For HD Insights, Nacho has written a provocative article, which brings together a theme of looking back at the early work in Venezuela, and forward to the ongoing needs in South America. Zoé Cruz-Gil also shares her story of determination and grit in identifying and helping HD patients across the island of Puerto Rico. Please consider supporting Factor H and Fundación Huntington Puerto Rico.

We also address the issues of healthcare disparities in the U.S., highlighting two articles regarding telehealth for HD, and emphasizing the challenges to psychiatric care in a third piece. I’m sure all of us have had to adapt in new ways as we deliver care in novel platforms, but I hope these stories resonate with you. Finally, we are fortunate to discuss an inspirational story of hope and healing in HD.

I must apologize that while some of this edition may come across as slightly Tennessee-centric, it is largely because my life has been in Tennessee. I am certain you all have stories of resilience and hope that you would like to share. Please send them to our deputy editor, Margy Rockwood, at margaret.rockwood@vumc.org.

Thanks to our supporters of this periodical, and to the HSG for giving us this platform to tell these stories.

I hope to see you soon (and in person).

 

Dr. Claassen is Associate Professor of Neurology at Vanderbilt University, and Chief Editor of HD Insights.

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