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To commemorate Black History Month, this newsletter focuses on the health equity efforts concerning the 46.8 million black people, the largest racial minority group in the United states. The health disparities among Black Americans are stark and disproportionate. For example, compared to non-Hispanic whites, African Americans are eight times as likely to be diagnosed with HIV and nine times as likely to die from it. Black women are three to four times as likely as Whites to die from pregnancy-related deaths and are about 1.5-3 times more likely to die from stroke, asthma, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer. Teaching students about the social determinants of these health disparities alone is inadequate. Rather, as Sharma et al. argue, educators and society at large must adopt a justice and equity lens to transform the deeper, historical origins of systematic exclusion and discrimination.
We invite you to read about the research that is improving our understanding of the epidemiology of the health inequities among our black community and the incredible work that some groups are doing to lessen the detrimental effects of over a century of local, state, and federal policies on the health of our black population. We hope that the research and articles in this newsletter will inspire and inform the work that you continue to do to train our next generation of health equity and social mission driven health professionals.
Social Mission Champion Spotlight
Brigit Carter, PhD, RN
Dr. Brigit Carter, current BFA Board Member, works tirelessly to create a culture of inclusivity and support in her work as Duke University School of Nursing’s first-ever Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Carter attributes her own nurturing communities as critical factors to her academic and professional success and seeks to create similar environments with strong mentorship programs and immersive educational experiences for minority students. Prior to her Associate Dean role, Dr. Carter served as project director for two different Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Nursing Workforce Diversity Grants at Duke School of Nursing focused on increasing underrepresented minorities in nursing and understanding social determinants among undergraduate nursing students. Beyond her efforts to facilitate communities of inclusion and support, Dr. Carter focuses on program evaluation to further improve the training experiences of students. She also is working on programming to better train faculty to respond and support their trainees who experience discrimination and harassment in the classroom.
Social Mission Champion Spotlight: Want to Share Your Innovative Work with the BFA Community?
The Beyond Flexner Alliance wants to highlight your work! We highlight individuals and projects that embody the Beyond Flexner Alliance goal of promoting a social mission in the health professions and want to share the different ways in which you are building equity in education, research, service, policy, and practice. To submit your project please complete this form. Our upcoming Heritage Month Newsletter will focus on Women’s Health Equity Issues. Please share any relevant work in that field.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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