Conversations About Inclusion and Diversity

In Memory of Ruth Bader Ginsberg 1933-2020

By Eve J. Higginbotham SM, MD, ML

It is hard to believe, just within nine weeks following the death of Congressman John Lewis, we have lost another social justice icon.  In the midst of continued daily assaults on the fragile fabric of our democratic ideals and aspirations, it is almost too much to bear.

Just one week ago, the world was shocked by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG).  Although short in stature, she cast a long shadow, effectively shaping the legal framework affirming gender equality in our nation.  Her six cases that she argued before the Supreme Court in the early 70s were strategically selected, sometimes choosing men as plaintiffs:

  • Reed v. Reed 404 U.S. 71: The Fourteenth Amendment was extended to…
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In Honor of Congressman John Lewis (1940-2020)

By Eve J. Higginbotham SM, MD, ML

Eve Higginbotham and John Lewis in graduation regalia

As we continue to mourn the death of Congressman John Lewis, it is important to recognize the lessons he taught us during his lifetime.  Three quotes come to mind which we should consider as we launch a series of virtual town hall meetings related to our initiative, ACT: Action for Cultural Transformation.

The first quote is the following: “We will stand up for what is right, for what is fair and what is just. Health care is a right and not a privilege.”  As we search for improvements to the care of our patients, this quote should be our moral compass.  As clinicians, we should seek to strip away those “race” based correction factors that contribute to additional structural…

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Celebrating Juneteenth – Continuing Our Movement

By Florencia Greer Polite, MD 

Today Friday, June 19, marks Juneteenth - a commemoration of the “freedom” of all people living in the United States.

The history of slavery in the United States is a complicated one and very much impacts the current predicament we find ourselves in.  Interestingly, Juneteenth relates back to Abraham Lincoln and the conversation that I had with my daughter Lena about the abolition of slavery. 

In the history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million Africans survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.  While less than 400,000 of those slaves arrived in America, by…

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LDI Model Simulations Point to Key Concerns for Reopening the Economy

By Corrinne Fahl

As two-thirds of the 50 states began relaxing their anti-COVID-19 restrictions, a May 15 virtual seminar convened by the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) brought together scientists who have created different simulator models to predict the economic and health changes various levels of policy relaxations may bring.

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Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Georges Benjamin

By Corrinne Fahl

The “outbreak of pneumonia of an unknown cause” was first reported in Wuhan, China on Dec. 31, 2019, and was in the U.S. by mid-January. Since then, the virus named COVID-19 has resulted in nearly 90,000 deaths and 1.5 million stricken in the United States. The economic burden on the country has also been staggering. More than 36 million Americans filed unemployment claims in two months, numbers unseen since the Great Depression of 1929.

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Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Catherine Raney

By Corrinne Fahl

Due to long standing inequities, the devastation caused by COVID-19 is falling more heavily on the shoulders of already vulnerable people. Families living in tight quarters cannot effectively distance themselves if a member of the household becomes infected, and “staying home” is not economically feasible for low-income undocumented immigrants who are currently being denied access to social safety net programs including the CARES Act stimulus checks.  

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Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Brandon Grant

By Corrinne Fahl

On February 11, the World Health Organization officially named the 2019 novel coronavirus as COVID-19. At that time the virus felt like it was a world away from our doorsteps. Few could have predicted that less than two months later we would be facing a public health crisis here in our local community that is impacting communities of color disproportionately. Originally it was assumed that that first US fatality was in late February, but recently learned COVID-19 was present prior to that.

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Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Hannah Anderson

By Corrinne Fahl

The COVID-19 pandemic has required major changes to where we work and how we communicate at work. Many of us are adapting to challenging online meeting environments: poor-quality calls with background noise, video chats with colleagues required to wear facemasks, and pre-recorded lectures with limited interaction. For those of us who are d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing, however, those types of virtual interactions are not just challenging – they can make our equal participation impossible.

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Too Much to Lose: Lives and Livelihoods - Eve Higginbotham

By Corrinne Fahl

There has been a continuous outcry for increased testing during this pandemic and unfortunately, the absence of a nationally coordinated system of testing has not emerged.  In the state of Pennsylvania, the number of tests per million is reported to be 15,029 which is less than half than other states such as New York, Massachusetts, and Louisiana and 33% less than New Jersey.

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Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Susan Summerton

By Corrinne Fahl

I was inspired to create a piece of X-ray art once it became evident that the best thing we all can do to fight the spread of COVID 19 is to remain at home.  I am an associate professor of radiology at Penn Medicine/Pennsylvania Hospital and have seen a significant change at my hospital and in the radiology department as a result of this pandemic.  As a breast and body imager, I had been reading mammograms and doing breast biopsies 4 days a week and reading CT scans, ultrasounds and radiographs of the abdomen one day a week.

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