Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick has spent her entire adult life answering people’s questions about health care – and not just for her patients; family and friends frequently asked her questions when they didn’t understand what they heard from their doctors. Over decades in government, academia, and hospital medicine, she’s seen what happens when people don’t understand or trust their health care provider. The problem can be particularly striking, she says, among Black Americans, who report higher levels of mistrust in the medical system than whites and suffer worse health outcomes in many areas. She has long believed that those disparities could be narrowed if the health care community did a better job explaining health information in everyday terms. So, she founded Grapevine Health, a startup that creates short videos featuring Black physicians and other doctors of color, explaining everything from high blood pressure, to kidney disease, to how to sign up for Medicaid, and not lose that coverage. Her videos feature her interacting with people on the street and answering questions in plain language and her idea is catching on. In the last 20 months, Grapevine has landed contracts with two Medicaid managed-care plans and one public employee health plan in the Washington, DC area.

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