Blog Archives

Blog Archives:

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…

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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,…

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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.

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

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.  

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Florencia Polite

By Corrinne Fahl

Dr. Polite, Chief of the Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology discusses her experiences during COVID-19 in Amsterdam News. On the Frontlines as an OBGYN Turned Crisis Doctor. Florencia Polite, MD

Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Florencia Polite

Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Cory Simpson

By Corrinne Fahl

I'm a dermatologist, so I'm not on the front lines of this pandemic. And thanks to public health measures, I may never be called to work at coronavirus drive-thru testing sites because we are flattening the curve of infections. Nevertheless, my clinic is reserved as a hospital “surge unit,” so I’ve converted to telemedicine to keep caring for patients—it’s easy to forget amidst a pandemic that other diseases persist and worsen if untreated.

Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Cory Simpson

Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Ezelle Sanford; The Myth of Black Immunity: Racialized Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Corrinne Fahl

Penn Program on Race, Science, and Society (PRSS) Postdoctoral Research Associate Ezelle Sanford III, and his colleague anthropology Doctoral Candidate Chelsey Carter have written an essay for the award-winning African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) blog, Black Perspectives. In, “The Myth of Black Immunity: Racialized Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic” Carter and Sanford draw on historical and anthropological analyses to respond to the initial racialization COVID-19.

Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Ezelle Sanford; The Myth of Black Immunity: Racialized Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Ezelle Sanford

By Corrinne Fahl

COVID-19, a novel coronavirus,  has taken the world by storm, leading to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) pandemic declaration.  The novel virus, never encountered before in human history, has laid bare our failings as a society.  It has exposed significant systemic vulnerabilities and vulnerable populations—including the unhoused, the incarcerated, hourly-wage workers, and caregivers—to name just a few. We cannot close schools because food insecure children depend on them.  Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have long existed on the margins of our healthcare system and there, COVID-19 thrives.

Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Ezelle Sanford

LDI The Intersecting Health Disasters of the Pandemic and Its Economic Meltdown

By Corrinne Fahl

Reviewing scientific evidence collected from the country's last century of economic downturns, LDI Senior Fellow and Penn Medicine Assistant Professor Atheendar Venkataramani painted a sobering picture of the likely long-term impact of the intertwined health disasters of coronavirus and the economic downturn it spawned.

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Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Robertson Lab & OID

By Corrinne Fahl

Can We Detect SARS-Cov-2 More Efficiently and Effectively in the Near Future? In the midst of this pandemic, Penn Medicine continues its history of innovation by leading the way in finding solutions to  fight COVID-19. The Office of Inclusion and Diversity had the opportunity to learn more about one new approach to detect SARS-Cov-2.

Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Robertson Lab & OID

Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Eve Higginbotham

By Corrinne Fahl

In his daily briefing, when noting the disproportional impact that the COVID-19 has delivered to communities of color, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated, “It always seems the poorest people pay the highest price?” He restated this same question more than once, as if to ask this question to this world, not necessarily seeking an immediate answer, but to challenge all of us to seek answers. 

Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Eve Higginbotham

Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Claiborne B. Childs

By Corrinne Fahl

I have a bag of lapel pins that I like to wear on my white coat. Three weeks ago, I came across a pin that I bought from the Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture in 2019. The pin is black with gold lettering that says: "Keep Going". After a week of working in the hospital, this message was something that I needed to hear. At that time, the number of COVID positive patients was increasing by the day and the level of anxiety on the units was palpable. We had several "close calls" with patients who were…

Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Claiborne B. Childs

Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Samantha Cauley

By Corrinne Fahl

My feet hurt. My heart aches. My hands are cracked. My brain is in a fog. My eyes are dry. My ears are sore. I'm tired. We're tired. It's just the beginning. I'm back in the ICU. I'm pulled from training in the OR. It's okay though. These patients need me. The floor needs me. We need each other. We go into rooms together with our double PPE. 2 gowns, 2 pairs of gloves, scrub hat, hair net, N95, surgical mask over that, glasses, face shield. We knock on doors from inside the room if we forgot something. We leave…

Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Samantha Cauley

Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

By Corrinne Fahl

The headline "Two SEPTA Workers Die of Coronavirus" took my breath away, because it was the first local heading foreshadowing which populations were going to be hardest hit here in Philadelphia.  Before becoming one of the privileged ones working from home, my routine commute from Old City to Penn always involved SEPTA. Particularly in the morning the train was packed with people wearing some sort of health care garb or ID, but also people dressed for a myriad of mostly service jobs. In Philadelphia one of the poorest large cities in the US, public transportation and therefore the people who…

Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Michal A. Elovitz

By Corrinne Fahl

A physician-scientist's pandemic puzzle. They say it is times like these where priorities become so apparent. Fear of losing yourself, of your family, of your friends, of your colleagues---it definitely makes everything that much more transparent.

Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Michal A. Elovitz

How Can Hospitals Address Scarce Resources During Covid-19?

By Corrinne Fahl

Most hospitals have general contingency plans for resource allocation in times of medical scarcity — like the current COVID-19 pandemic. But they don't have detailed guidelines for the process of actually making those allocation decisions in a fast moving and often conflicted crisis environment. Penn School of Arts and Sciences political scientist and LDI Senior Fellow Julia Lynch, PhD, has now created those guidelines.

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First Penn LDI Virtual Seminar Tackles COVID-19 Conundrums

By Corrinne Fahl

A realistic timeline for the development of a COVID-19 treatment and vaccine, long-term social distancing options, and the plight of small businesses, hourly workers and vulnerable children were some of the topics covered in the University of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute's first virtual seminar.

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LDI: The Rising Power of Administrative Data for HSR Scientists

By Corrinne Fahl

In 2016, after City Council approved a soda tax to fund the operation of pre-kindergarten educational programs throughout Philadelphia, the city had to decide where this funding would be targeted. It turned to the University of Pennsylvania's Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy Center (AISP) to create a data model mapping key early childhood risk exposure across the neighborhoods.

Read full article on the Leonard Davis Institute site

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LDI: Health Care Podcast “Tradeoffs” to Launch at Penn

By Corrinne Fahl

Evidence Takes Center Stage in Effort Backed by LDI, Annenberg School, and Center for Public Health Initiatives

Veteran radio journalist Dan Gorenstein is being collaboratively supported by three University of Pennsylvania entities, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation in the launch of a new media outlet producing in-depth podcast reports analyzing topical health care issues.

Read full article on the Leonard Davis Institute site.

Read more on LDI: Health Care Podcast “Tradeoffs” to Launch at Penn

Open letter to Dr. Goldfarb from Alumni

By Corrinne Fahl

Regarding an open letter to Dr. Goldfarb

Dr. Crystal Zheng is reaching out to fellow alumni to draft an open letter to Dr. Goldfarb regarding his piece in the Wall Street Journal. The University of Pennsylvania and the Perelman School of Medicine stand by their commitment to Inclusion and Diversity, as well as health equity, cultural humility, and broad education. You can find the draft letter here

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Delores Brisbon, Women in Medicine Month 2019

By Default Admin User

The Office of Inclusion and Diversity is excited to welcome Delores Brisbon on September 24th to celebrate Women in Medicine month. Mrs. Brisbon will be speaking at 1pm in the Flyers/76ers Surgery Theater in HUP.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Health Equity Symposium 2019 Recap

By Dominique Alexis

This year we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 90th birthday and on January 23, 2019, marked the fifth anniversary of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity's Martin Luther King Jr. Health Equity Symposium. This year's keynote speaker Jonathan Woodson, MD, who leads Boston University's University-wide Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy gave a compelling talk entitled "My Soul Looks Back; Lest we Forget (What the Evolution of MLK Teaches about Solving America's Problem's Today)." The symposium opened with remarks by Dr. PJ Brennan, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of the University of…

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Faculty Members Attend the AAMC Minority Faculty Leadership Development Seminar

By Dominique Alexis

Every year the AAMC hosts a three-day Minority Faculty Leadership Development Seminar to bring together junior faculty from all over the United States. This seminar is designed to provide participants with "real-world guidance and tools for pursuing career advancement in academic medicine, developing key professional competencies, building skills in grant writing and communications, and lastly expanding their network of colleagues and role models." This year the seminar was held in Phoenix, Arizona and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity provided travel awards to Kenisha Campbell, MD, MPH, an Assistant Professor specializing in adolescent medicine at CHOP. Dr. Campbell serves…

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NMA 116th Annual Conference

By Corrinne Fahl

The National Medical Association (NMA)’s Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly is acclaimed as the nation’s foremost forum on medical science and African American health. Each year, African American physicians and other health professionals from across the country convene to participate in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, discuss health policy priorities, and to share experience through networking opportunities.”NMA 116th Annual Conference

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Recap of Health Equity Week 2018 Event: Join the Conversation: The Strategic Vision for Achieving Health Equity

By Corrinne Fahl

By Dominique Alexis

On Monday, April 02, 2018, The Office and Inclusion and Diversity partnered with Graduate Medical Education to host Health Equity Week 2018's first event, entitled Join the Conversation: The Strategic Vision for Achieving Health Equity.

 Moderator Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD, Vice Dean of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity sat down with leaders from different disciplines across the university. The panel included: PJ Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Hospital of the…

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Penn LDI: Koh Promotes Partnerships at Penn 2018 Health Equity Symposium

By Corrinne Fahl

Collaborating across public and private sectors

At Penn's fourth annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Health Equity Symposium, keynote speaker Howard Koh, MD, MPH, former Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), shared a motivating quote by Dr. King: “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, Dean of Penn's Perelman School of Medicine, opened the symposium by discussing the legacy of Dr. King, “a great example of how one person, with vision and leadership, can change the course of history in an important…

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Getting to Know You

By Corrinne Fahl

October 16, 2017 | by Greg Richter

Starting today, Penn Medicine hospitals in Philadelphia are asking patients to share more information in their EHRs. For example, in addition to reporting their sex at birth, patients are now offered the opportunity to provide specific information about their gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as their ethnicity and preferred spoken and written language. The first such update in 10 years, the changes follow national Healthy People 20/20 recommendations as well as the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Medicine) National Academies report on what to collect on patients' background and characteristics. Knowing…

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Celebrating 100 years of women in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania during Women in Medicine Month

By Corrinne Fahl

In honor of Women in Medicine month, and the anniversary of Dr. Clara Hillesheim’s graduation, the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and the Penn Special Interest Group in Health Disparities and Health Equity hosted two former United States Surgeons General, to share their experiences.

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Keeping Efforts to Build a More Inclusive Culture in the Forefront

By Corrinne Fahl

Keeping Efforts to Build a More Inclusive Culture in the Forefront

Eve J. Higginbotham SM, MD

A recent editorial written by former Treasury Secretary James Baker and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young in the Wall Street Journal, reminded us about the fundamental core values that we share as Americans. The authors provided a few historical touch points in addition to suggested paths forward as we aim to rekindle our shared purpose as a nation.  There was one specific phrase that stood out in particular: scripted more than 200 years ago, the enduring Latin phrase, "e pluribus unum", out of…

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Penn Med Students Create App to Address LGBTQ Health Disparities Read - Phillymag

By Corrinne Fahl

SpectrumScores aims to connect LGBTQ patients with the right providers to cater to their unique needs.

Three University of Pennsylvania medical students have created an app that they hope will put an end to LGBTQ healthcare disparities.

SpectrumScores, being developed by Phil Williams, Jun Jeon, and Naveen Jain, plans to connect LGBTQ patients with the right providers to meet their unique needs. The concept came from the team's shared negative experiences with providers they described as "well-meaning but under-informed" coupled with their understanding of "how much of a significant impact an LGBTQ competent provider can make."

"SpectrumScores isn't just…

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A Principled Man - The Pennsylvania Gazette

By Corrinne Fahl

When Nathan Mossell crossed the stage of Philadelphia’s Academy of Music to receive his medical diploma in the spring of 1882, his white peers saluted him with “almost deafening applause,” he wrote in his short autobiography. As an honor student graduating in the top quarter of his class, Mossell had triumphed over the virulent racism displayed by many of his classmates and professors. But now, with diploma in hand, Penn’s first black doctor gazed out upon the cheering young men, confident that despite the formidable odds he would surely face, his talent and persistence would enable him to triumph.…

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H. Moses Murdock Presented his poster at the Annual Medical Education Conference

By Corrinne Fahl

H. Moses Murdock presented his poster entitled "Ranking Diversity: Quantifying UME Ethnic Diversity at Academic Medical Centers" at the Annual Medical Education Conference, held by the Student National Medical Association. 

Mr. Murdock:

  • Graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida with Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular Biology and Microbiology.
  • Is a recipient of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Gamble Scholar Merit Scholarship.
  • Served on the Diversity & Inclusion Student Advisory Council and Student's Opposing Racism at Penn (S.T.O.R.M.)
  • Is a member of the SNMA Executive Board
  • Wishes to continue research and provide care for underserved communities as…
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Two Members of Penn Community Named “40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health

By Corrinne Fahl

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) has honored two members of the Penn community with its 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health award, which recognizes the next generation of thought leaders in reducing healthcare disparities. Paris Butler, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of Plastic Surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, PhD, the vice-provost’s postdoctoral fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, will both receive their awards at the NMQF Leadership Summit on Health Disparities and Congressional Black Caucus…

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Novello Inspires Action at 2017 Penn Health Equity Symposium

By Corrinne Fahl

AUTHOR: Janet Weiner, PhD, MPH and Nastasha Galperin 'No time for apathy or complacency'

Penn's third annual Martin Luther King Jr. Health Equity Symposium featured a keynote address by Antonia Novello, 14th Surgeon General of the United States, who had a hopeful, yet challenging message: "Had Martin Luther King been here today, he would see that we are doing much better, but he would he would still be fighting. He would feel pride, disappointment, sadness, and he would be appalled that blacks and whites are still segregated."

Read more at Penn's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

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Celebrating Black History Month and Dr. Nathan Mossell

By Corrinne Fahl

Dr. Francis Nathan Mossell was the first African American to receive a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Nathan Francis Mossell, the son of Aaron and Eliza Bowers Mossell, was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on July 27, 1856. Nathan's father, Aaron Mossell, was a grandson of slaves, with a great-grandfather known to have been brought from West Africa. His wife Eliza came from a free Black family that had been deported to Trinidad with other such families when she was a child; she and Aaron met after she returned to Baltimore. During the Civil War, Aaron Mossell resettled…

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A letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. From Cristo Rey Student T. Powell

By Corrinne Fahl

The Office of Inclusion and Diversity is working with the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice to sponsor a student from Cristo Rey High School for the 2016-17 school year. T. Powell, a senior at Cristo Rey, wrote the following letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as we celebrate his life and work with our annual Health Equity Symposium.

Dear Dr. King,

I’m accepted. Not in all places, but I am welcomed. I can say that you were off to a good start, but the job is not finished. Your letters and the March on Washington

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2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Equity Symposium

By Corrinne Fahl

The Office of Inclusion and Diversity would like to thank everyone who was able to attend any of our events yesterday, as we honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s commitments and contributions to Health Equity. We were so happy to be able to bring Dr. Novello to share her experience and guidance, and Dr. Evans' passion for the necessity for equity in the field of oral health was truly inspiring. We hope to see an enthusiastic turn out next year, when Dr. Howard Koh will be our keynote speaker.

View the entirety of the symposium, available to stream. 

The…

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Reflections on World AIDS Day and the Path Forward for our Nation’s Youth - Nadia Dowshen, MD

By Corrinne Fahl

For people living with HIV/AIDS or those of us who have devoted our careers to ending the HIV epidemic, this one day of the year to draw attention to HIV, a disease that after 30 years still kills thousands of people each day, sometimes seems inconsequential. But in the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election, this World AIDS Day has special meaning because of messages of racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia heard throughout the campaign. These very same forces of hate threaten the health and well-being of young people I care for who are living with and at-risk for HIV…

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LGBT Health Program Creates Generational Chains of Mentorship

By Corrinne Fahl

Since Penn Medicine launched its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health Program in 2014, the group's numerous initiatives have tackled diversity and inclusion in the workplace, classroom, and clinical settings, educated students and staff on LGBT health topics and disparities, and participated in community outreach, among other efforts.

Now, a new LGBT student-trainee-faculty mentorship program is tapping into a rich community of LGBT professionals at varying levels of medical careers to mentor LGBT students. 

Borne out of a meeting in January 2016 between Rosemary Thomas, program coordinator for Penn Medicine's Program for LGBT Health, and the School of…

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Dr. Farzana Rashid Hossain, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Honored with a 2016 Women of Distinction Award

By Corrinne Fahl

Dr. Farzana Rashid Hossain has been selected for a 2016 Women of Distinction Award by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Dr. Farzana Rashid Hossain has been selected for a 2016 Women of Distinction Award by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Dr. Rashid Hossain was also appointed to the Philadelphia Commission for Women by Mayor Kenney earlier this year. 

Rashid Hossain's honors and awards include the Health Care Heroes Award from Penn Medicine and the Radhika Srinivasan Award for Humanism and Professionalism at the division of Gastroenterology at Penn Medicine.

"Dr. Rashid Hossain is an outstanding physician who is committed to helping…

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A Guest Blog from FOCUS: A Day for Women at Penn Med to Network, Engage in Leadership Mentoring, and Enjoy the Company of Colleagues

By Corrinne Fahl

September is Women in Medicine Month, an annual reminder to pause and remember the multitude of contributions women have made to the advancement of medicine.

September is Women in Medicine Month, an annual reminder to pause and remember the multitude of contributions women have made to the advancement of medicine. Dr. Helen Octavia Dickens, the University of Pennsylvania's first African American female full professor in the Medical School, was also the first African American Woman admitted to the American College of Surgeons.  Dr. Virginia Apgar introduced the first test to assess the health of newborn babies in 1953. Dr. Gertrude…

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Why It is More Important Than Ever to Reveal the Hidden Curriculum in Educating the Next Generation of Physicians By Dr. Higginbotham

By Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD

A recent article by a medical student from Brown University raises the question about the understanding of how future generations of physicians consider the influence that the social construct of "race" has on medicine.

In her article entitled "The Hidden Curriculum" Brown continues the conversation about the intersect between racism and medicine that one of our very own Penn medical students, Mark Attiah[1] noted in a previous article, highlighting the benefits of considering the benefits of an inclusive environment, "where everyone feels included in the larger dialogue." While one perspective appears to be in opposition of the other, both…

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National Research Priorities, Funding Announced for Tackling Health Disparities in Surgery Laura Newman and Jaya Aysola MD, DTMH, MPH

By Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD

The first national agenda to understand and address surgical disparities, announced by the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Surgeons, will likely foster much needed change in addressing ethnic disparities in surgical practice.  Research priorities were announced in the March 16 JAMA Surgery, and are based on an inaugural NIH-American College of Surgeons Symposium on Surgical Disparities Research, held in May 2015, at NIH. On April 18th, NIH announced a Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity, with the first R01 and R21 grant applications likely due in September, and the first awards expected in February…

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So What Did We Learn About Health Equity at Our 2016 MLK Symposium?

By Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD

If you missed the 2016 MLK Symposium this year held on January 27, don't despair.  The Leonard Davis Institute posted a blog by Imran Cronk, which nicely summarizes what you missed:  http://ldi.upenn.edu/healthpolicysense/health-equity-symposium-features-fiery-carmona. In a nutshell, we were reminded about the perfect storm in which we consider our questions about health equity.  Nationally we have witnessed the clashes between the police and vulnerable communities, threats against fragile gains made since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, defunding of key pipeline initiatives, the reemergence of grassroots advocacy, and legal challenges in efforts to diversify the health professional workforce. A…

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Health Equity: A Dream or An Achievable Goal?

By Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD

On January 27, 2016 PSOM will welcome Dr. Richard Carmona to campus as our second MLK Health Equity Keynote Speaker.

As the 17th Surgeon General, Dr. Carmona made significant contributions in the areas of prevention, health disparities, health literacy, global health, and health diplomacy during his tenure.  His keynote presentation will be augmented by our own Penn faculty: Dr. Jerry Johnson, Jaya Aysola MD, DTMH, MPH, Tiffani Johnson, MD, MSc, Shreya Kangovi, MD, MS and C. Neil Epperson, MD.  At the end of this two hour discussion of challenges and solutions associated with achieving health equity, each of us…

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The Lack of Progress in Moving the Needle on Poverty Reaffirms the Need for Healthcare Transformation

By Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD

There was good news and bad news out of Washington D.C. this week.

The good news is that the number of people without health insurance dropped in 2014 by 8.8 million, however there was no significant difference in the rates of poverty between the years of 2013 and 2014.[1] The annual report released by the U.S. Census Bureau[2] indicates for the fourth year in a row that rate of poverty was not significantly different from the previous year. Overall, more than 45 million Americans live in poverty, a number that seems staggering for one of the most affluent nations…

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Advancing Health Equity, Thirty Years Following the Heckler Report

By Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD

This month, the Department of Health and Human Services celebrates National Minority Health Month and more specifically acknowledges the 30th anniversary of the Margaret Heckler's Report on Black and Minority Health.

This month, the Department of Health and Human Services celebrates National Minority Health Month and more specifically acknowledges the 30th anniversary of the Margaret Heckler's Report on Black and Minority Health.[1] This report clearly "documented the existence of health disparities among, ethnic minorities in the United States and called such disparities "an affront both to our ideals and to the ongoing genius of American medicine."[2] …

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All Lives Matter in Academic Medicine, Article By: Eve Higginbotham SM, MD, Diana Harris, MBe, PhD and Katherine Stamper, MBA

By Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD

While the focus recently has been on the twitter phrase, “black lives matter,” as a physician it is important to underscore the premise that all lives matter. Understandably, the amplitude of voices has increased over the past several months following the tragic deaths of unarmed black men – staunch reminders that implicit bias has had a role in shaping our country, our politics, and our hearts since the birth of our nation.

Academic medicine is certainly not exempt from such bias, with the recent perspective in the NEJM, Bias, Black Lives, and Academic Medicine, leaving the reader with an…

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The Penn Medicine Program for LGBT Health - Strengthening Penn’s commitment to providing excellent care to the LGBT community

By Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD

Barriers such as decreased access to healthcare, lack of awareness and/or insensitivity to their unique health needs, and inequitable health system policies and practices put some members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community at a disadvantage in optimizing their physical and mental health. The Penn Medicine Program for LGBT Health works to address these health inequities and improve the care of all LGBT people.

Recently the Program worked with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and Chester County Hospital to complete the Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). As…

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