Racism, Public Health, and My Commitment

I would like to begin this message by apologizing for the delay in formulating my thoughts and words for my patients, colleagues and the community. It was never my intention to appear uncaring by remaining silent during this monumental time in our lives and our history, and I assure you that I continue listening, learning and taking action to serve the community as a whole.

Systemic racism and oppression are public health crises.

Racial health disparities and how “wellness” often disproportionately supports the white community creates a singular dimension, and the understanding of wellness is certainly on our minds. It is my belief that all medical professionals must participate in the struggle for ending racism, and we must understand the ways in which white privilege appears in our practices and take steps toward equality by uncovering and addressing our blind spots in order to do better in our everyday methods.

In my constant quest to learn more and do more, I am listening to experts in my field and am so grateful for the support and guidance of many, such as the Medical Society of the State of New York (NYSMS), the American Medical Association (AMA), the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, the Institute for Functional Medicine, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), which recently ​declared racism a public health issue and called for action​.

As a small, independent practice, we are evaluating our offerings and identifying the ways that we may have inadvertently created barriers to care, financially and otherwise. Again, I apologize for my late message, if I offended you by my silence, or if I have been unable to support your health needs. We will do better and are committed to improving the health of the local and global community.

“One man dies in the street, pleading for his life, and overnight those streets erupt in anger at the injustice, not only for that dreadful moment but for a lifetime of oppression. One hundred thousand die from a virus, all innocent victims of a heartless disease, but a balance of color shows more die from one community than others. Racism breeds death, either visibly for all the world to see, or silently, hidden beneath the statistics and the excuses. May the Spirit empower us to face this reality and not turn away: racism is as virulent as COVID-19, infecting people who seem to have no outward symptoms until behavior reveals their disease. The vaccine for racism is justice, the cure is equality, and the prevention is love.”

–Steven Charleston, Choctaw Elder and Episcopal Bishop, Alaska

Recommended Resources, curated by the Faculty Diversity Advisory Committee at the University Arizona College of Medicine.


  • “America’s Racial Contract Is Killing Us” by Adam Serwer | Atlantic (May 8, 2020)
  • Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement (Mentoring a New Generation of Activists
  • “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Antonio Vargas | NYT Mag (June 22, 2011
  • The 1619 Project (all the articles) | The New York Times Magazine
  • “The Intersectionality Wars” by Jane Coaston | Vox (May 28, 2019)
  • Tips for Creating Effective White Caucus Groups developed by Craig Elliott PhD
  • “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh
  • “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi | Atlantic (May 12, 2020)


  • Black Feminist Thought​ by Patricia Hill Collins
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower​ by Dr. Brittney Cooper!
  • Heavy: An American Memoir​ by Kiese Laymon
  • How To Be An Antiracist​ by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings​ by Maya Angelou
  • Just Mercy​ by Bryan Stevenson
  • Me and White Supremacy​ by Layla F. Saad
  • Raising Our Hands​ by Jenna Arnold
  • Redefining Realness​ by Janet Mock
  • Sister Outsider​ by Audre Lorde
  • So You Want to Talk About Race​ by Ijeoma Oluo
  • The Bluest Eye​ by Toni Morrison
  • The Fire Next Time​ by James Baldwin
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness​ by Michelle Alexander
  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs
  • The Warmth of Other Suns​ by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God​ by Zora Neale Hurston

Organizations to follow on social media

  • Antiracism Center: #Twitter
  • Audre Lorde Project: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • Black Women’s Blueprint: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • Color Of Change: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • Colorlines: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • The Conscious Kid: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • Families Belong Together: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • MPowerChange: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • Muslim Girl: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • NAACP: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • RAICES: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ): #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • SisterSong: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • Southern Poverty Law Center: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook
  • United We Dream: #Twitter | #Instagram | #Facebook

Organizations to follow on social media

  • www.joincampaignzero.org

Resources for Engaging in Anti-Racism Work

  • Resources for Engaging in Anti-Racism Work
  • We are Living in a Racist Pandemic
  • Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay – Chances are They’re Not Affirming Black Lives Without Inducing Trauma
  • What to Do Instead of Calling the Police
  • Southern Poverty Law Center