Photo by Shane Wynn
+Executive Director for Health Equity, Summa Center at New Seasons, Summa Health System
+Physician with Summa Physicians Inc. — Family Medicine
When Summa opened its Center for Health Equity at New Seasons last March, this learning laboratory was a new concept in local health care — one that’s been embraced by Dr. Edward Demond Scott, the center’s executive director.
Located in a rehabbed former shopping strip on South Hawkins Avenue, the center can be found on the first floor of a senior apartment complex. Scott shares the office with two other doctors, and the center also has a community room with a demonstration kitchen, provides access to social workers and behavioral health experts, and can be used for medical research and education. But what exactly is health equity?
“Health equity means a state in which all people have equal opportunity to achieve their full health potential,” Scott says.
Scott became a doctor to combine his two loves: science and working with people, and he wants to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals and on the communities in which they live.
Many of the center’s patients suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, depression or anxiety — common ailments among people who live in minority and lower income communities, Scott says. And although he can’t always address the social factors that affect his patients’ health, he can provide a safe and trusting environment in the examination room to deliver high-quality care.
“We also provide additional opportunities for in-depth learning about health issues and a solution to maintain health in a safe, less formal environment without the restriction of time usually present at a doctor’s visit,” he says.
Over the past few months, Scott has learned that building trusting relationships with his patients takes time, and he understands that it’s essential to developing effective treatment plans that improve patient health outcomes and saves lives.
“If you really want to help people solve problems, you better get to know them,” he says. “Learning is enhanced by reducing anxiety through relationship building and developing true partnerships for health improvement.”
When it comes to improving his own health, Scott says he prefers a simple exercise regimen: doing jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups and running on a treadmill. He also enjoys participating in outdoor activities with his wife and children.
In His Spare Time, You’ll Find Him:
• Keeping His Body and Mind Active — “I like to play tennis, hike trails and read nonfiction and biographies.”