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Racism Is a Public Health Crisis: Race and COVID-19 in Rhode Island

Full recording of “Racism Is a Public Health Crisis: Race and COVID-19 in Rhode Island,” Center for Reconciliation, July 9, 2020.

On July 9, 2020 at 4:30 pm, the Center for Reconciliation welcomed over 130 participants via Zoom to the webinar Racism Is a Public Health Crisis: Race and COVID-19 in Rhode Island. The program convened a distinguished panel of Rhode Island medical practitioners, public health professionals, and health care executives to discuss the grossly disproportionate impact of the pandemic on Rhode Island and American communities of color. Speakers explored how institutionalized racism has shaped public health in Rhode Island and the U.S.; why Black and Brown Rhode Islanders suffer from COVID-19 at much higher rates than the white population; and what we might do to address these race-based health disparities going forward. 

Speakers (in order of remarks):

  • Robert Naparstek, MD, FACOEM (moderator), occupational medicine specialist and Treasurer, Board of Directors, Center for Reconciliation
  • Pablo Rodriguez, MD, Medical Director for Community Affairs, Care New England, President and CEO of Women’s Care, Clinical Associate Professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, and former Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island
  • David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health
  • Michael Fine, MD, Health Policy Advisor to Mayor James Diossa of Central Falls and former Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Marie Ghazal, DNP, RN, CEO of Rhode Island Free Clinic

Resources Mentioned during the Program:

Bonilla-Silva, EduardoRacism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in Contemporary AmericaLanham, M.D.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.