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Minority Health Disparities | Michelle’s Story

[MUSIC] The world has got to change. [MUSIC] I lived in a community
that was so prosperous, with doctors, and
lawyers, and politicians. Now we have drug dealers, and
corner stores that they don't sell anything but
the wrong things. [MUSIC] You cannot deny the impact that
it has on people's health. [MUSIC] I have been in West Baltimore
my entire life. As far as money,
my mother didn't have any money. I don't wanna say she was poor,
I'll say low income. Poor we were though. [MUSIC] In the 50s we didn't have many
choices, as far as health care. The healthcare system then was
limited, it was not good for us. And medicine costing so much
that my family said sometimes, will I eat, or
will I pay for my medicine? I just love my daughters
when they come over, and we get together and we cook and
prepare meals together. It's healthy meals. When my oldest went to college, she came back with
a different diet. >> Now what happens is, if I do a meatloaf it's turkey
instead of ground beef. I make spaghetti,
I make chili, stuff like that. It's with turkey and chicken. We grew up we ate pork,
we ate bacon, we ate fresh shoulder,
we ate pork chops. I did not think it was
not healthy eating, because this is what
we were accustomed to. I was in denial, I didn't
want to face the fact that I was becoming a diabetic
>> The impact is the fact that my family ended up with
heart disease, emphysema, diabetes, cancer. My mother's sister,
her daughter died of diabetes. She was an amputee. My mother died of
a massive heart attack and >> To address health disparities, we need to
understand why they exist. That they're not due
to one single factor. They're the result of policy
decisions we make as a society. They're due to the environment,
health education, insurance and access to care, access to
healthy food and stress. Those stresses
are actually experienced disproportionately by people
who are poor, and people who have been historically
disadvantaged in this society. >> Solutions to these problems
cannot just be medical, it's systemic. And that means everybody
has to get involved. >> If we want a nation to be
strong, the people in that nation have to be healthy
>> They have to be well. If there's anything that we can
do to stamp out disparities, we need to do it by
any means necessary. >> Hi Miss Simmons. >> Here at East Baltimore
Medical Center most of the patients are underserved. >> We need nice deep breaths
in and out through your mouth. Michelle is a terrific
success story. There was actually a year where
she had lost her job, and before she found a new one
she had no health insurance. >> And she still managed to buy
her medicines out of pocket, paid out of pocket to come and
have doctor visits. She was really invested
in her own health. That's something that
Dr Cooper's' research is looking at. Why patients don't invest in
their health like we wish they would? >> The next thing on the agenda
is the community update, so I'm gonna turn-
>> Michelle joined our Community Advisory Board in 2011
>> We provide education to the community about
health and about research. We offer training programs for
community health workers. We can be sure that we
are meeting the needs of people appropriately. And that we're not leaving out
certain groups of people that have traditionally not been
included in conversations related to health and
healthcare. Our strong relationship with
a community is just essential. There's no way we could do what
we're doing without their input. And my work is just one of many
initiatives here at Hopkins. >> Miss Simmons is a great
example of happens when get it right as clinicians,
and as an institution. >> I am a fighter. I am a believer. I stand for what's right. And what's right is
people's health. And I will never give up, as long as I have
breath in my body. >> One of the things that is so important is that people have,
what I call a liberated future. And it's hard to be liberated
when you're not healthy. And when I say liberated, I mean freedom to be all that
God meant for you to be. When we don't deal
with disparities, then what we're doing is denying
people an opportunity to give back to the world. And so, we've gotta fight it. We've gotta fight it with
everything we've got. [MUSIC]

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