Category Archives: Health

African-Americans, Vaccines and a History of Suspicion

A good parent is not sure what to believe. On one side, doctors tell us vaccinations are safe and necessary for our children. They’ve been in existence for hundreds of years, most people get them and they are credited with eradicating diseases and saving lives. On the other side are numerous horror stories involving vaccinated… Read More »

A Focus on Health to Resolve Urban Ills

On a crisp morning in the struggling Bay Area city of Richmond, Calif., Doria Robinson prepares a community vegetable garden for an onslaught of teenagers who will arrive that afternoon. Beyond the farm, a Chevron refinery pumps plumes of smoke into the atmosphere. The farm won’t remove the pollution, but Robinson believes it can make… Read More »

Opioid crisis points to racial divide

The circle of patients gathered for group therapy at a doctor’s family practice in McKenzie, Tennessee, could well represent the face of the state’s opioid epidemic. They were in a small city in a rural county, fertile ground for prescription drug addiction, though they traveled from as far as Nashville and Missouri. They were young… Read More »

Saving hearts, lives in African American community

Our heart is the engine that keeps our body running. That’s why problems with the heart—such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure or heart failure—can significantly impact a person’s well-being, and, at worst, be life-threatening. During February, American Heart Month, we were able to shine a spotlight on heart disease, the leading cause of… Read More »

Health disparities challenge physicians in diverse community

Health outcomes in the United States are not created equal, statistics have long shown. African-Americans, in particular, face disparate health risks. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which tracks disease and mortality rates through its National Vital Statistics System, the age-adjusted death rate in 2014 for the black population was 849.3… Read More »

Why Blacks Don’t Trust Doctors

Medical diseases are becoming more complex, research is getting better, and people are living longer. There has never been a time where patients need to trust their doctors more. The general public’s trust in the U.S. medical profession has continuously dropped, sharply, over the last 50 years. In 1966, 73% of Americans said they had… Read More »

African-American Hospitals Were the Pride of an Excluded Community

Many hospitals, from prestigious medical centers to tiny community clinics, at one time did not admit black patients and did not hire or train black doctors or nurses. Others confined black patients to “colored” wings. In the African-American community, those institutions are still sometimes known as “white hospitals.” “In the minds of our grandparents, black… Read More »