“Racism is literally killing people faster.” said Stephanie Quinn, AAFP Senior Vice President of Advocacy, Practice Advancement and Policy in her first, “In the Trenches” blog post. I met Stephanie during our Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2019 year together. Her smart, quick, engaging style, encouraged you to want to know her better.
When I read her blog, Stephanie’s insights into the current turmoil our country is facing from a health perspective were thought-provoking. The systemic racism in the entire American system hasn’t disappeared since the Civil Rights Act-between COVID and the exposure of police brutality towards people of color, the depth of the problem was fully exposed. Stephanie’s focus on the health impact alone makes you want to learn more. If someone doesn’t get enough to eat, has sub-par housing, schools lack materials, and communities don’t have access to hospitals/health care, then each and every one of us is impacted, on a human level, on a moral level, and an economic level.
Human level, as people with compassion, empathy, and morality-we must work towards a different system across sectors that serve all people.
On a moral level, how can we continue to teach our children, worship in our houses of faith, care for a family while others don’t share the rights we have under our constitution?
Economically, when each person has access to health/food then they can attend school to gain an education that leads to work and an income. If more people are able to do more than just survive, they thrive and can become active consumers in the marketplace. Businesses benefit and gain consumers by supporting improved social services, health systems, and education systems.
Equal access to the basic rights that we all have as citizens is a must. I love how Stephanie brings home a suggestion for health care professionals, but the suggestion is really also important to allies for this necessary change, and everyone- to use our ears more and pause our mouths…
“Family physicians often engage many of their five senses when treating patients. It is time that as a profession, and as a country, we prioritize one sense above all. It is time to listen.”
Listen to what the people around you need, then speak up, take action, and be part of the systemic change so we can all thrive.
Here’s her entire article, check it out!