- Angela Giles, DBH, LCSW, National Social Work Project Assistant & Behavioral Health Consultant, Hampton VA Medical Center, Washington DC
- Elena McSwain, PsyD, Acting Chief of Veteran Experience Service, Hampton VA Medical Center, Hampton Virginia
The Covid-19 pandemic hit and soon thereafter the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery occurred. Racism is not a new phenomenon, but the rapid succession of both pandemics, provided the unique opportunity for Americans to witness the impact of racism on people of color. Images from all three murders saturated all traditional and social media platforms for months. This material often functioned as triggers for past negative experiences of racism, interactions with police for BIPOCs in America, and ultimately causing secondary trauma (Lipscomb, et al, 2019). Additionally, African Americans experience chronic disease such as hypertension, diabetes and strokes at rates higher than white Americans (https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aahealth/index.html). Racism and secondary trauma act as complicating and compounding variables on chronic diseases within a population of individuals who are already at a societal disadvantage for accessing healthcare (Noonan, Velasco-Mondragon, Wagner, 2016). It is imperative to bridge the gap between racism and its impact on health. The education and training of providers will be stressed and modeled through practical examples and implementation tips.
- Increase providers knowledge base of intersectionality between racism & chronic diseases
- Present Evidenced-Based Screening Methods for Race-Based Trauma
- Increase providers' comfort discussing race