USJ Faculty Publish Articles Related to Discrimination in Healthcare

Heather Evans, Ph.D., RNC-MNN, CLC

Assistant Professor of Nursing Heather Evans, Ph.D., RNC-MNN, CLC and Associate Professor of Nursing and Track Coordinator for the Post-Master’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Certificate program Karen Myrick, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, ONP-BC, FAAN, shared their thoughts and research on the topic of discrimination in health care in two industry publications.   

 Dr. Evans wrote and published an article in a journal called Topics in Pain Management. This journal serves an audience of clinical and academic health care providers (MD, DO, RN, APRN, PT, OT, etc.) in specialties such as anesthesiology, neurology, psychiatry, physical/rehab medicine, neurosurgery, and pain management. “Pain is a common experience, yet we see disparities in pain management for many historically underrepresented populations. I wanted to shine a light on the continued disparity in treating pain while also offering some possible ways for health care providers to decrease this disparity,” said Dr. Evans.  


Dr. Myrick’s latest publication was included in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, a publication dedicated to the scholarly progress of work to understand, address, and ultimately eliminate health disparities based on race and ethnicity. The primary aim of the research was to examine racial biases in selection for partial (PKA) versus total (TKA) joint replacement treatment for isolated osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The secondary aim was to identify any differences in rates of complications for each procedure. The analysis of 104,266 patients found that Whites had nearly twice the rate of PKA compared to Blacks. Additionally, the rate of complications was less in PKA versus TKA in all races.  Dr. Myrick explains, “This work determined that there was a racial bias in the selection for partial versus total knee arthroplasty; White individuals received more PKAs compared to Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. Additionally, there were lower rates of complications associated with PKAs when compared to TKAs in all races, but Blacks suffered the highest rates of complications in both procedures.”