Here is what I am working on right now.
Welcome to Lakeland Health’s Community Grand Rounds, a speaker series that examines how the trauma of racism affects the health of the people we serve, and how to be more aware of and better address those impacts in our professional encounters.
In Southwest Michigan’s Berrien County, poor people, and especially African Americans, experience high rates of the illnesses identified as Priority Health Needs in Lakeland’s Community Health Needs Assessment. Data provided by the Berrien County Health Department finds blacks have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, stroke and psychological distress when compared to whites. While these differences are attributable to poor access to resources required for good health, like healthy food, quality education and safe housing, emerging science is showing there’s something deeper at work.
New knowledge in the field of neuroscience and in the emerging fields of epigenetics and social genomics suggests that the experience of discrimination is strongly associated with health inequities. In particular, we are learning that the social environment we live in impacts our genes, our hormones, inflammation in our bodies, our immune systems and, therefore, our overall health. For health care providers and others, awareness of the health effects of discrimination, such as racism, is critical to optimizing patient and population health.
Community Grand Rounds is Lakeland’s effort to raise awareness and understanding of this new science and its implications for health. In a series of speakers and discussions between 2018 and 2020, Lakeland’s doctors, nurses, other clinical staff, board members as well as government and community leaders will learn from experts about the impact of racism on health. The goal is to inform and to set the stage for further discussions and actions leading to improved health outcomes across the population served by Lakeland.
Community Grand Rounds is a collaborative effort between Lakeland health and The Todman Family Foundation.
For more information, contact Lynn Todman, PhD through the contact form below.
“In the United States, as in other racialized countries in the world, racially stigmatized and disenfranchised populations have worse health than their more advantaged counter evident in higher rates of mortality, earlier onset of disease, greater severity and progression of disease, and higher levels of comorbidity and impairment. In addition, disadvantaged racial populations tend to have both lower levels of access to medical care and to receive care that is poorer in quality.” - David Williams
Beatty (2018) Everyday Discrimination and Metabolic Syndrome - Racially Diverse Women's Health.
Goosby (2015). Discrimination and Cardiovascular Risk in Low-Income African American Youth.
Wheaton (2018) Discrimination and Depression among African American Men.
Roughly a third of all African Americans report being personally racially discriminated against when going to a doctor or health clinic.
of African Americans say they have avoided going to a doctor or seeking health care out of concern that they would be discriminated against or treated poorly because of their race.
Mortality rate in 2015 per 100,000 in the state of Michigan - Whites
Mortality rate in 2015 per 100,000 in the state of Michigan - Blacks
Mortality rate in 2015 per 100,000 in the state of Michigan - Black Males
The acclaimed author of A Raisin in the Sun and civil rights activist, Lorraine Hansberry, died of pancreatic cancer at age 34 in 1965. At her funeral, author James Baldwin said: “It is not at all farfetched to suspect that what she saw contributed to the strain which killed her, for the effort to which Lorraine was dedicated is more than enough to kill a man.”
Learn More and Attend these Upcoming CGR Events
Dr. David Williams, MD, MPH, PhD
July 10, 2018
10:00 am St. Joseph High School, St. Joseph, MI
David R. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University.
Dr. David Ansell, MD, MPHSeptember 27, 2018
Hanson Theatre Benton Harbor, MI
3:30 p.m. Community Presentation
Senior Vice President for Community Health Equity, Rush University Medical Center
Associate Provost for Community Affairs, Rush University
Learn more about Rush’s strategy to be a catalyst for community health and economic vitality on Chicago’s West Side and how those strategies can be applied to SW Michigan.
Pre-register for Dr. David Williams’ or Dr. David Ansell’s talk by clicking on the below button.
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"I would really like to see you at one of these events. Come by and introduce yourself. In the meantime join our Twitter feed, Facebook or send me an email below. It is very important to continue this dialog and I welcome your comments and suggestions."Dr. Lynn Todman
Dr. Loren B. Hamel, President & CEO of Lakeland Health, interviews Dr. Patricia Rush about her research on the impact of psychological trauma on the brain and on chronic disease and health inequities.
It was exciting to be a part of “Navigating a New World Order” at the Hope Global Forum in Atlanta, Georgia on March 26-28, 2018.
These short animated videos tell my story of growing up on the South Side of Chicago and my observations about implicit bias.
Does a better diet lead to better behavior? While the science indicates that it does, children in one Benton Harbor, Michigan,
Here are some interesting and important TED Talks on the subject of racism and its impact on health. The first is by Dr. David Williams, our July 2018 Community Grand Rounds speaker.
Medical Science Is Solving a Mystery for a Physician Who Wondered for Years What Was Happening to Her Patientsread more
Lakeland Health Embarks on 3-year ‘Conversation’ to Help a Racially Polarized Community Understand the Latest Scienceread more
How a Foundation and Health System Teamed Up to Fight the Local Scourge of High Rates of Disease, Early Death for Blacksread more