The “Our Words Matter” Campaign to Reduce Stigma and Bias in Clinical Communication


open notes, stigma, medical training, bias

How to Cite

Healy, M. (2023). The “Our Words Matter” Campaign to Reduce Stigma and Bias in Clinical Communication: A Case Report . CommonHealth, 4(1). Retrieved from


Language choice in clinical communication has become increasingly important and timely given that patients now have access to their full medical record, as required by the 21st Century Cures Act. Students and faculty within Temple University Health System (TUHS) identified stigmatizing language as a significant issue impacting patient care. This case report describes the process of assembling a multidisciplinary team to create an educational campaign with the goal of reducing stigma and bias in the medical record. The campaign team leveraged a grassroots approach, a network of champions, pilot testing and community engagement to design and implement this initiative within a complex academic health system. Changing language alone will not address all the disparities experienced by marginalized patients and communities but provides an important initial step for clinicians. Campaigns like this one can serve as models for medical and public health professionals who seek to advance health equity.