These images are closeups of a mural I created when Graphic Recording for the National Medical Association plenary discussion on “COVID19 & the Black Community” by our current Surgeon General, Dr Jerome Adams, and our previous SGs Dr Vivek Murthy, Dr David Satcher, and Dr Louis Sullivan.
It’s always an insightful and informative experience working with my clients – they are all up to great things that make a real difference in the world!
And this time, I was inspired to dig even deeper into this topic as a part of my systemic racial equality efforts in general, and because being a microbiologist as my first profession has me especially fond of our health care professionals and scientists.
At the beginning of their discussion, Dr. Louis Sullivan declared “we need a culture of health in America!” Hear, hear!! Especially for those citizens most at risk, which we’ve long known were BIPOC, but are now dramatically seeing played out in COVID19 morbidity and mortality rates.
A key part of achieving that culture of health is by dramatically increasing our trust, and it’s more easy to trust a profession and system that literally looks like it represents you.
Did you know only 5% of practicing doctors are black?! Clearly one of the ways
Suggested ways we can move towards that include:
* eradicating health disparities
* more black role models (if you’re a black medical profession, email me, I’d love to amplify your voice!)
* medical school tuition support – thank you Mike Bloomberg, for your recent donation!
* diversity of representation in both political parties
* increased health literacy
* taking individual personal responsibility for our own health
* adequate funding for public health
* increased racial diversity in our scientific researchers
* establishing trust in scientists and doctors by the black community, starting with trusted figure such as church leaders, etc
* leveraging social media
* messaging via trusted public figures: athletes, etc
* increased transparency from scientists and medical professionals (that trust thing again!)
One good thing about the COVID19 vaccine development is an increased transparency, even if it’s prompted by political reasons.
Let’s build on this momentum: What other ideas do you have?
Or details about how to achieve any of the ideas listed above? Drop those blog comments below, y’all!
Later in the talk, our SGs addressed COVID19 vaccine hesitancy. Up to 50% of people are unlikely or unsure they’ll get it when it’s widely available.
Especially black people, who are rightly hesitant to trust scientists and medical professionals based on their historical mistreatment.
As Dr Adams asserted: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!” referring to controlling COVID19 including vaccine development, but his comment resonates in all areas of life!
Part of being at the table includes Dr Murthy’s discussion addressing values-based leadership, our community and our messaging.
These 3 topics are foundational to culture, including how we can be creating the “Culture of Health” called for by Dr Sullivan.
* What are your core values?
If you don’t know this already, sort that out – it’s foundational to creating an impactful, lasting legacy!
* How are they showing up in your community, both personally and professionally?
There are two parts to this inquiry:
1. Make a list of how you believe this is occurring (your perspective)
2. Ask others in your life how it is occurring for them (their / community perspective).
* What and how effective is your messaging?
Similarly, review this for yourself and get feedback from others. Sometimes what we mean to convey doesn’t actually land out there the way we intended.
Take all feedback as a gift. Thank the giver for their contribution. Open it up and examine it. Try it on. Does it fit? Carry on, or adjust your actions, as appropriate.
This can all be an intense experience, both the doing of it and the sorting out what to do about it! Email me if you’re ready to take it all on fully. Why me? I’m committed to you and everyone actualizing their best and highest selves, having the greatest impact in their lifetime and leaving a lasting legacy!!
For this, we need an equal playing field from which all people can actualize their full potential.