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
Screenings of Unnatural Causes: In Sickness and Wealth
Unnatural Causes is an acclaimed documentary series broadcast by PBS that addresses the root causes of our alarming socio-economic and racial inequities in health.
The series uncovers startling new findings which suggest there is much more to our health than bad habits or unlucky genes. The social circumstances into which we are born, live, and work can actually disrupt our physiology as much as sickness and disease.
After the screening, participate in a guided conversation on how these topics are related to our community and discuss concrete actions items to help improve community health.
Tuesday, May 14
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Berrien County Health Department
Wednesday, May 15
12:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Niles District Library
Thursday, May 16
3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Andrews University, Newbold Auditorium
2019 CGR Speaker Series Schedule
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)
Los Angeles High School Students Concerned About Increasing Societal Discrimination
Of 2572 adolescents in a Los Angeles High School surveyed, concern about increasing societal discrimination was associated with higher rates of substance use, a greater number of different substances used, and 11% higher odds of depression.
Of 2572 adolescents in a Los Angeles High School surveyed, concern about increasing societal discrimination was associated with higher rates of substance use, a greater number of different substances used, and 12% greater odds of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms.
Percent of Uninsured Among Communities of Color in the United States
In 2017, non-Hispanic whites had the lowest uninsured rate among race and Hispanic-origin groups. The uninsured rates for blacks and Asians were 10.6 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. Hispanics had the highest uninsured rate at 16.1 percent nationally.
2016 Infant Mortality Rates in the State of Michigan per 100,000 Infants
2016 Infant Mortality Rates in Berrien County Michigan per 100,000 Infants
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