Shanshan Sheehy, Epidemiologist and Assistant Professor at Boston University, studies the correlation between racism and heart disease among black women; Alonza Pamplin, Communicable Disease Supervisor for the Wake County Department of Health and...
Shanshan Sheehy, Epidemiologist and Assistant Professor at Boston University, studies the correlation between racism and heart disease among black women; Alonza Pamplin, Communicable Disease Supervisor for the Wake County Department of Health and Human Services, discusses the importance of diverse public health leadership; a new ASTHO blog article outlines how public health can help young people struggling with mental health; and ASTHO has a new Partner Spotlight with Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, Board President of the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health.
Experiencing Racism Increases Black Women’s Heart Disease Risk, BU Research Finds
Advancing Inclusivity Through Local, Diverse Leadership
Youth Are in Crisis and We Can Help
Partner Spotlight: Q & A with Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, Board President of the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health
This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Tuesday, May 2, 2023. I'm Robert Johnson.
Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
Our study is the first longitudinal study of perceived racism with incident heart disease.
Shanshan Sheehy is an epidemiologist and assistant professor at Boston University.
We followed more than 48,000 Black women and assessed two measures of perceived racism with risk of coronary heart disease. Experiencing self-reported perceived racism in employment, housing, and interaction with the police was associated with a 26% higher risk of coronary heart disease relative to not experiencing racism in those areas.
Sheehy says the study makes a critical point about the connection between racism and population health,
Racism has a real impact on the heart health of Black women. Our study suggests that experience of racism may explain some of the disproportional high burden of heart disease in Black women.
Sheehy adds there are many actions leaders can take to reverse the impacts of racism on Black women's risk of heart disease.
There's a need for public health researchers and policymakers to work together to develop and target more effective interventions to address the modifiable factors at the individual level, community level, environmental level, and societal level to mitigate the detrimental effects of racism or heart disease. And it is also important to partner with the community, leveraging technological innovation to design and deliver culturally adapted interventions and reach out to underserved populations. There should also be a focus on promoting diversity in cardiology training programs, and investment in promoting diversity and inclusion in this specialized care.
You can read more about the study using the link in the show notes.
Diverse leadership in local health agencies can make a big difference when it comes to connecting with communities. This is Alonza Pamplin with the Wake County Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina.
I feel that it's important to have diverse leadership at the local level because we do a lot of work with the community. And it's important when you're trying to build these relationships with the communities and engage stakeholders that they see leaders that look like them, and that they know that your organization is serious in working towards equity and being inclusive.
Pamplin is a scholar in ASTHO's Diverse Executives Leading in Public Health Program. She's one of several who co-wrote a new blog article about the benefits of diverse leadership.
I will say that community and diversity has shaped my leadership because a lot of the people that I see here in the health department, they look like me. Neighborhoods that are highest affected by violence, communicable diseases, infectious diseases, and things are neighborhoods that I come from, that I grew up in. And so, it's important when you want people to trust you and when you want people to listen to what you have to say that they're seeing people that look like them and come from the places that they come from. Because I'm coming from a place of empathy, but I'm also coming from a place of understanding.
Pamplin urges public health leaders to put their support for diversity into action within their departments.
I think that it is important that leaders continue to not just talk about diversity and inclusion in their departments and their organizations, but make sure that they actually understand it. And also making sure that the education and the communication around this topic isn't just certain people volunteering to do it, but making sure that everyone who's part of the organization understands how important diversity is.
You can read the blog article using the link in the show notes.
Also today, young people are struggling with mental health concerns according to the latest CDC data, but a new ASTHO blog article says there are ways public health leaders can help. Funding education and storytelling are listed as possible options to address the concerns. You can find the article using the link in the show notes.
Finally this morning, ASTHO examines work to close disparity gaps in a new spotlight Q&A with Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, president of the National Association of the State Offices of Minority Health. Read her comments using the link in the show notes.
That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back tomorrow morning with more ASTHO news and information.
I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great day.