COVID 19 Health Care Inequities – Dr Janice C. Blanchard

Although one could be forgiven for taking a day off to celebrate after the Chauvin verdict, we will finish up our focus on the three American researchers and practitioners interviewed by the Lancet in March, about place, race and health outcomes.

The final profile is of Janice C. Blanchard MD PhD, who is a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine, an Adjunct Affiliate Researcher at RAND and a practicing emergency medicine physician in the Capitol area.

If her name sounds familiar, you may have heard her speak as one of several Black doctors featured in an NPR piece:
For Black Emergency Doctors In Washington, The Pandemic Is Personal
‘As they treated the pandemic, Wilder and Blanchard collaborated on a paper with eight other black doctors in D.C. about treating COVID-19 for the journal Academic Emergency Medicine. They said their patients of color were more likely to die because of chronic disease; but they were more likely to suffer those conditions because they lacked good food, space to exercise, secure housing and regular income.’

Or, perhaps you saw her on W Kamua Bell’s ‘Greater Than COVID’ YouTube channel playlist THE CONVERSATION: BETWEEN US, ABOUT US, which is a ‘new campaign from KFF’s Greater Than COVID and the Black Coalition Against COVID’..’to dispel misinformation and provide accessible facts about the vaccines from Black health care workers.’

Although these messages were targeted to Black Americans, they simply and directly answer questions all of us have had at one point or another.

What is herd immunity? Janice Blanchard, MD, PhD (0:47)

Do the COVID vaccines change your DNA? Janice Blanchard, MD, PhD (0:41)

Symptomatic vs. Asymptomatic COVID – Janice Blanchard, MD, PhD (0:49)

A few weeks ago, she co-wrote this piece for the Dallas news

Our health system is not equipped to vaccinate rural communities
COVID-19 has revealed weaknesses in rural care that need long-term solutions.

Just as COVID has exposed weaknesses in urban healthcare systems, it has also exposed weaknesses in rural ones. Eg Expansion of vaccine sites to pharmacies seems to expand access to many more people, but many rural folks live in ‘pharmacy and primary care deserts’.

Public health IS infrastructure.

Place, Race and Health – Sharrelle Barber

“I use my scholarship to make the invisible, visible” Sharrelle Barber

The beginning of this week we will focus on 3 researchers in the field of systemic racism and health, featured in this podcast from The Lancet.

”Lancet Voices:Black History Month in the USA special
A special episode celebrating Black History Month in the USA speaks with epidemiologist Sharrelle Barber, public health expert Kimberly Jacob Arriola, and emergency doctor Janice Blanchard about the intersection of race and health in the USA across the past, present, and future.”

The first researcher is Sharrelle Barber, ScD, MPH, a Drexel Professor described in her staff bio as “a social epidemiologist whose research focuses on the intersection of place, race, and health.”

Prof Barber recently took part in an MIT conference AI for Healthcare Equity Conference April 12th, 2021

“The potential of AI to bring equity in healthcare has spurred significant research efforts across academia, industry and government. Racial, gender and socio-economic disparities have traditionally afflicted healthcare systems in ways that are difficult to detect and quantify. New AI technologies, however, provide a platform for change. By bringing together thought leaders in these fields, we will assess the current state-of-the-art work in this space, identify key areas of impact, and present machine learning techniques that support fairness, personalization and inclusiveness. We will also discuss the regulatory and policy implications of such innovations. “

Just yesterday, The Anti-racist Community Education youtube channel posted an excellent presentation from Prof Barber.

Racism in the Time of Covid-19
Anti-racist Community Education channel

‘The intersection of race, place and health’
Interlocking systems of oppression