Andrea Willis and Sherri Zink, BlueCross BlueShield TN

The federal COVID emergency ended in May, and health providers are evaluating what means for health care in the short-term and long run.

While many advances occurred during this time, including in vaccines and telehealth, many people avoided regular checkups and treatments, which created complications for some folks.

On this episode of the Tennessee Voices video podcast, BlueCross BlueShield Tennessee Chief Medical Officer Andrea Willis and Chief Data Officer Sherri Zink spoke about what data tells providers about disparities in health care access.

Sherri Zink And Andrea Willis

Sherri Zink And Andrea Willis

These disparities have been around since before COVID, but the pandemic exacerbated many of these issues.

Socioeconomic status, race, and geography play a role in these gaps.

Willis and Zink talked about how this data can be used to learn more about the general population’s health needs and how to adapt conversations and interventions to their particular situations.

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About Tennessee Voices

The Tennessee Voices videocast is a 20-minute program, which started in March 2020 and invites leaders, thinkers and innovators who have written guest columns for a USA TODAY Network Tennessee publication to share their insights and wisdom with me and our viewers.

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David Plazas is the director of opinion and engagement for the USA TODAY Network – Tennessee. He is of Colombian and Cuban descent, has studied or worked in several Spanish-speaking countries, and was the founding editor of Gaceta Tropical in Southwest Florida. He has lived in Tennessee since 2014. Call him at (615) 259-8063, email him at [email protected] or tweet to him at @davidplazas.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Video podcast: Andrea Willis and Sherri Zink, BlueCross BlueShield TN