Symposium Panel #3
Health, Race, and the Way Forward — Friday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.
Description: Our final panel discussed the health disparities experienced by BIPOC communities, as well as the racist policies fueling those inequities. We will also reflect on efforts by LAFLA and the legal community to ensure access to quality care – and how the pandemic and other recent events are reshaping the dialogue, and how these efforts can continue to build community trust.
Meet Our Panelists
Wendy Cabil, Client Board Member, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
Wendy Cabil is a Community Advocate from Antelope Valley, deeply rooted in South Los Angeles, who utilizes her lived experience to empower and educate her peers. Moreover, by practicing her own self-advocacy, she is able to show up for others because she knows there is someone out there like her who also needs a lifeline. Also known as simply Miss Wendy, she strives to practice what she preaches in various leadership roles, especially when providing peer support. After losing her job in an organization that helped the unhoused, she found herself without a home. She struggled with homelessness for 13 years prior to securing permanent housing. Nevertheless, advocacy has been her lifeline even during her dark days. Read more.
Rayshell Chambers, Co-Founder & COO, Painted Brain
Rayshell Chambers is a black community leader from Oakland, CA who has dedicated her personal and professional pursuits to designing and advocating for comprehensive health and human service programs that enhances the human condition of the most vulnerable populations. Rayshell holds a bachelor degree in Sociology and Masters of Public Policy & Administration and utilizes both her cultural experiences and lived mental health challenges, as a peer, to design culturally-responsive programs. Rayshell is the co-founder of Painted Brain, a mental health tech nonprofit based in Los Angeles, that provides peer-based services and practice training in technology and clinical mental health. Rayshell is also an independent consultant that provides capacity building support and grant writing for small nonprofits that serve communities of color.
Dr. Rishi Manchanda, President & CEO, HealthBegins
Dr. Rishi Manchanda is President & CEO of HealthBegins, a mission-driven consulting and technology firm that helps healthcare and community partners improve care and the social factors that make people sick in the first place. Client-partners include the American Hospital Association, the CMS Accountable Health Communities model, and health plans and health systems across the country. Dr. Manchanda serves on the board of the Beyond Flexner Alliance, on the California Future Health Workforce Commission, and was a member of the HHS Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network’s Primary Care Payment Model Work Group. Dr. Manchanda’s career is marked by a commitment to improving care and social determinants of health for vulnerable populations. Read more.
Sadena Thevarajah, Managing Director, HealthBegins
Sadena Thevarajah, JD, is Managing Director at HealthBegins. She has spent over 10 years at the intersection of health law, policy, and stakeholder engagement. Her cross-sector experience brings a broad, system-wide perspective to her work improving health outcomes. She led the first External Affairs department at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, has built business development for a tech start-up, and shaped patient programs at the American Cancer Society. Previously, she served in the Obama Administration, both in the Office of the HHS Secretary as well as in the White House during the passage and early implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Thevarajah holds a law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, and a public health degree from The Johns Hopkins University.
Yolanda Vera, CEO, MLK Outpatient Center
Yolanda Vera is the Chief Executive Officer of the MLK Outpatient Center located on the medical campus. She served as Senior Deputy for Healthcare Services and Advocacy, Office of LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, and has extensive background in civil rights and health-related matters. She is an attorney whose legal work includes positions with the Legal Aid Foundation, the National Health Law Program and the Western Center on Law and Poverty. She also served as the Director of LA Health Action, a California Endowment-funded non-profit dedicated to improving the health of low-income LA County communities, and as a member of the boards of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and the Child Health Initiative of Greater LA. She earned a B.A. in English from Loyola Marymount and a J.D. from UCLA.
Moderator: Tyler Press Sutherland, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
Tyler Press Sutherland is a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, where she represents poor and low-income Angelenos in government benefits legal cases. Tyler co-chairs LAFLA’s Race Equity Initiative, which works to combat institutional and systemic racism across LAFLA’s varied practice areas. She previously was an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow in LAFLA’s Veterans’ Justice Center. Tyler received her juris doctor from Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from Harvard College.
- Decades later, infamous Tuskegee syphilis study stirs wariness in Black community over COVID-19 vaccine
Los Angeles Times / Kurtis Lee — February 2021
“There are historical trust issues due to failed and lack of research integrity in the past with such studies as the Tuskegee,” said Martha Dawson, president of the National Black Nurses Assn., who is based in Birmingham, Ala. “We still remember these cases and acknowledge the egregious behavior of the government and scientists.”
- Dying of Covid in a ‘Separate and Unequal’ L.A. Hospital
New York Times / Sheri Fink — February 2021
Inside an overwhelmed facility in the worst-hit part of California, where the patriarchs of two immigrant families were taken when they fell sick.
- Black Doctor Dies of Covid-19 After Complaining of Racist Treatment
New York Times / John Eligon — Dec. 23, 2020
On the death of Dr. Susan Moore
- Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth
ProPublica and NPR / Nina Martin and Renee Montagne — Dec. 7, 2017
Not education. Not income. Not even being an expert on racial disparities in health care.
- The Upstream Doctors
Dr. Rishi Manchanda — 2014 Ted Talk
HealthBegins was founded in 2012 by Dr. Rishi Manchanda and other public health-trained physicians who saw the need to strengthen the work of frontline clinicians and community partners who wanted to treat disease and improve the social and economic conditions that made people sick in the first place.
- Growing racial inequities in L.A. County vaccine rollout raise alarms
Los Angeles Times/ Jaclyn Cosgrove, Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Colleen Shalby — January 2021
Just weeks into California’s rocky rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, evidence is emerging of inequities in who is getting the medicine, prompting growing demands that vulnerable communities receive more attention.
- The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health
Maria Trent et al. Pediatrics August 2019, 144 (2) e20191765
American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement exploring the impact of racism on children’s healthcare and health outcomes
- Implicit Bias and Racial Disparities in Health Care
American Bar Association / Khiara M. Bridges
Khiara M. Bridges is a professor of law and professor of anthropology at Boston University. She is the author of Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization (2011) and The Poverty of Privacy Rights (2017).
- The Problem with Race-Based Medicine
TED / Dorothy Roberts — November 2015
Dorothy E. Roberts is a professor in the Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology and the Law School at the University of Pennsylvania.
- A Generation of Bad Blood
The Atlantic / Vann R. Newkirk II — June 17, 2016
“New research suggests a strong link between the public revelation of the Tuskegee Study and poor health outcomes for black men.”
- Berkeley Talks: Deirdre Cooper Owens on gynecology’s brutal roots in slavery
March 13, 2020
Deirdre Cooper Owens is a professor in the History of Medicine at the University of Nebraska and author of the book Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology
- The US medical system is still haunted by slavery
Vox/ProPublica ft. Harriet Washington — Dec. 7, 2017
Nine-minute video about medical experiments on Black slaves and their impact on modern medicine. Harriet Washington is the author of Medical Apartheid.
- Death of Black mother after birth of first child highlights racial disparities in maternal mortality
NBC News / Minyvonne Burke — Nov. 6, 2020
Chaniece Wallace was a pediatrician who died due to preeclampsia, which affects Black mothers at higher rates.
- Forced sterilization policies in the US targeted minorities and those with disabilities – and lasted into the 21st century
The Conversation — Aug. 26, 2020
- A 1970 Law Led to the Mass Sterilization of Native American Women. That History Still Matters
Time / Brianna Theobald — Nov. 28, 2019
This focuses on the sterilization of Indigenous people in America.
- Do No Harm: Reflecting on a legacy of pain for black women and girls in the United States
The Politic / Isiuwa Omogui
This focuses on the sterilization of Black women in America.
- California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
- California Black Women’s Health Project
- No Mas Bebes
- As Pandemic Deaths Add Up, Racial Disparities Persist — And In Some Cases Worsen
NPR / Daniel Wood — Sept. 23, 2020
Overview of racial disparity in COVID-19 infections and deaths.
- The ‘Black Tax’ of COVID-19: Amid Pandemic, Black Doctors Carry Double Load
U.S. News / Joseph P. Williams — Feb. 1, 2021
Black doctors dealing with racism towards themselves and their patients exacerbated during the pandemic
- Early data shows striking racial disparities in U.S. COVID-19 vaccination drive: AP analysis
KTLA / AP — Jan. 30, 2021
Overall lack of racial data but what data there are points to vaccines going primarily to white folks.
- Dr. Uche Blackstock: ‘Series of conversations’ needed to battle distrust of Covid vaccine among Black Americans
MSNBC — Dec. 11, 2020
Two-minute video featuring Dr. Uche Blackstock, a black doctor, discussing distrust of the medical community among black Americans.
- Dr. Susan Moore’s Facebook Live video
- The historical roots of racial disparities in the mental health system
Counseling Today / Tahmi Perzichilli — May 7, 2020
Discusses both racial disparities today and the racist history of psychiatry.
- The Double Burden: Health Disparities among People of Color Living with Disabilities
Ohio State University and Florida A&M University / Rachel Blick et al. — 2015
Six-page report from the Ohio Disability & Health Program reviewing intersectional disparities in the social determinants of health. Findings are not limited to Ohio.
- Health and Health Care Disparities Among People With Disabilities
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund / Silvia Yee — August 2011
- How ‘Killer King’ became the hospital of the future
Politico / Nancy Pastor — Nov. 8, 2017
- Once Troubled MLK Hospital Now A Health-Care Leader
CBS Los Angeles — Jan. 31, 2018
Three-minute news report on MLK’s journey
- Lillian Mobley: A legend has passed
Los Angeles Sentinel / Yussuf Simmonds — July 2011
- Inner Thoughts
A spoken word piece by LAFLA Client Board Member Wendy Cabil.
- DMH + UCLA Public Partnership for Wellbeing
- Mental Health Resources
- Community Resources & Information
- MHSA General Standards
- MHSA Stakeholder Bill of Rights