In the News
Adancing Health? It's About the Mind, Body, and Community
Join us on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 for what promises to be a powerful evening of dialogue about what advance health.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Howard Performing Arts Center
4160 E. Campus Circle, Berrien Springs
Register at: http://spectrumhealthlakeland.org/cgr
I am the Executive Director for Population Health at Lakeland Health System in St. Joseph, Michigan. In this role, I support the strategic efforts to improve the health of the regional population.
Since 2018, I have been a commissioner of the city of St. Joseph. I am also the chair of the downtown development plan.
I’ve been a keynoter, a panelist, and a moderator at conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe on a variety of topics, including social exclusion, the social determinants of mental health, mental health impact assessment, and health equity.
I have also addressed issues such as poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, incarceration, violence, and homelessness.
We are working to determine the impact that both Community
Grand Rounds and Courageous Conversations are having on
our community at large. This research leverages my role as a Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Leader.
Previously, I examined the relationship between diet and anti-social behaviors among youth. I did this work to determine whether living in a food desert (one of the many social determinants of health) might be a factor contributing to community violence. I am currently developing research around other social determinants of health, such as employment, income, education and housing.
Community Grand Rounds (CGR)
Here is what I am working on right now.
Community Grand Rounds: Healing the Trauma of Racism. My current focus is a speaker series titled, Community Grand Rounds (CGR). Launching in 2018 and concluding in 2020, the series will host speakers who will travel to Southwest Michigan, home of Lakeland Health, to share their knowledge of and insights into the emerging science underlying racialized health inequities. Speakers will address themes such as the health implications of psychological trauma and racism as well as the emerging science of epigenetics and social genomics. The audience for this series will include health care providers, government leaders and community residents.
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
|Bechara Choucair, MD, is senior vice president and chief community health officer for Kaiser Permanente, one of America’s leading integrated
health care providers and not-for-profit health plans.
Dr. Choucair oversees the organization’s national community health efforts and philanthropic giving activities aimed at improving the health of its 12.2 million members and the 68 million people within the communities it serves.
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Howard Performing Arts Center
4160 E. Campus Circle, Berrien Springs
Everyday Discrimination and Metabolic Syndrome - Racially Diverse Women's Health. Beatty (2018)
For every 1 point increase in discrimination score, 3% increase in incidence of Metabolic Syndrome (hypertension, obesity, lipids).
Discrimination and Cardiovascular Risk in Low-Income African American Youth. Goosby (2015)
Increase in perceived discrimination among youth aged 10-15 significantly associated with higher inflammatory markers and onset of hypertension.
Discrimination and Depression among African American Men. Wheaton (2018)
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.”
Dr. Lynn Todman shares how “CGR” became a speaker’s series designed to deepen the understanding of how racism impacts the health in communities of color.
Spurred on by the findings of Lakeland Health’s Community Needs Assessment, Todman found significant health disparities in the region that she wanted to delve into further.
Todman shares she wants people to walk away with increased awareness around the following:
- There is no biological basis for the concept of race
- Racism is a form of psychological trauma
- Like all forms of trauma the toxic impacts are preventable.
Tasha N. Turner, MA, LLPC, Program Director, Trauma Informed Initiatives discusses our physical response to stress.
Our physical well-being is reliant on our mental and emotional state.
Understanding The Health Consequences Of Racism & What You Can Do About It. July 10, 2018 10:00 am to 11:30 am
The slide on the screen in the auditorium shows a young black male. Dr. David Ansell says he is 16, lives on the West Side of Chicago and has only about a 50 percent chance of living to age 65.
Why is that? Ansell asks.
Harvard sociologist David Williams offered many ways people can fight back against institutional racism and implicit bias and make a healthier social environment for all people. His suggestions range from little daily acts to big reforms.read more
Linnea is a psychiatric nurse for Lakeland Health system. What Harvard sociologist David Williams said in his July 10 morning presentation in St. Joseph, Mich., shook her up and opened her eyes to her own racial prejudices.read more
Systemic Racism Adds Another Layer of Trauma for Many People; Therapist Calls it ‘A Public Health Crisis’
As a program director, Turner, a psychotherapist, directs trauma-informed initiatives for Lakeland Health, the health care system that serves Berrien County in southwest Michigan. In that role Turner is looking at the lives of many tens of thousands of people. It is a county polarized by race and economic disparities—and big gaps in health outcomes between blacks and whites. The view from Turner’s Lakeland perch is necessarily disturbing.read more
In July 2018, noted Harvard sociologist Dr. David Williams addressed two audiences in SW Michigan on the topic of racism and health disparities as part of the Community Grand Round lecture series hosted by Lakeland Health and underwritten by the Todman Family Foundation.read more
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