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What’s Happening in Health

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  • 8 Jul 2024 1:05 PM | Jamila Jabulani (Administrator)

    How long have you been a member of the Black Health Network, and what drew you to CBHN? 

    June 28, 2023 It's time to renew! I had seen CBHN events throughout CA on Facebook but none in Orange County. My hope is to bring a major CBHN event to Orange County to share what our Black community is doing and to share and receive resources with the CBHN members throughout the state.

    What is your current profession? 

    Grantee Liaison with Desert Vista Consulting (DVC) on a project named CACHI (CA Accountable Communities for Health Initiative).

    From your perspective, what barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians? 

    There is still a stigma in the Black community regarding getting preventative care and trusting healthcare providers. And there are healthcare providers who do not know how to care for us, especially in the areas concerning maternal health, cancers and diabetes. From my understanding, there are federal and state funds sent to counties to help the Black community, but most community-based organizations and churches receive either little to no funds to support them. More resources and funds are needed, and providers need more education on how to help our community.

    Both in your work and with CBHN, how have you been able to prioritize the health of Black Californians?  

    With my lived experience, I have been able to work in behavioral health, advocating and supporting peers, sometimes at the table to discuss changes that will affect peers throughout the state, and now advocating for systemic change for the Orange County Black community through HEAAL (www.heaaloc.org). 

    What inspires you to keep doing the work you do? 

    I had a primary care doctor who truly showed me how to advocate and take care of myself during three of the four times I battled cancer. There is someone out there who may be going through struggles and don't think they can make it, they can't keep going. God has used my life to show people that there is hope, that you can keep going and you can make it. Things are tough but they are not impossible to overcome!

    What's the bravest thing you've ever done? 

    Battled the same cancer four times within 19 years, and during the fourth cancer battle started working on my certifications in Mental Health Worker and Alcohol and Drug Studies. As of January 2024 I am four years in remission and still working on getting my certifications!

    What's the best advice you've ever received?

    "No is a complete sentence." and "You do not have to do it all. Delegate." I'm still working on both of these, I think I always will!

  • 24 Jun 2024 8:59 AM | Jamila Jabulani (Administrator)

    How long have you been a member of the Black Health Network, and what drew you to CBHN?  

    I've been a member of the California Black Health Network for one year, and I was drawn to the network for two reasons. One, I have a black family that is unconditionally supportive. I joined to be resourceful to them and become more culturally connected. Further, a meaningful portion of the people we serve through our programs and services are Black.

    What is your current profession? 

    Director of ECM and CalAIM Programs at Illumination Foundation.  

    From your perspective, what barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians? 

    The barriers that exist are a shortage of healthcare providers of color and accountability of resource distribution.   

    Both in your work and with CBHN, how have you been able to prioritize the health of Black Californians? 

    Regarding CBHN, I've previously joined the Healthy Aging Peer Network and the Better Black Beauty Ambassadors training as a way to increase my knowledge and share resources in both my professional and personal life. Unrelated to CBHN, we search for community resources to connect our clients and prioritize the health of Black Californians. Events such as 16th Annual Faith and Health Luncheon that focuses on black health, centered and led by the community, and critical disease prevention are how we look to strengthen the resources available to the people we serve.  

    We’re excited about partnering with Forty-Three Strategic Consulting to establish a foundation of shared language and processes that are Health Equity focused; this partnership is made possible by CalAIM’s Providing Access and Transforming Health (PATH) initiative. The conversations we’re having around how to think about and prioritize the health of Black Californians are ongoing and aspirational.

    What inspires you to keep doing the work you do? 

    An ambition to reimagine how systems work and how collaboration happens. California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) is an ambitious plan to transform how health care is delivered. We’re in a period where new ideas and innovative opportunities are possible, changing things up is what inspires me the most! 

    What's the bravest thing you've ever done? 

    Proposing to my husband in front of his family.   

    What's the best advice you've ever received? 

    To speak up because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. 

  • 10 Jun 2024 3:34 PM | Jamila Jabulani (Administrator)

    I am the longtime Executive Director of Public Health Advocates (PHAdvocates). We are a statewide organization that works with California communities to establish policies, systems, and norms to promote health and racial justice. I've been supporting the great work of the Black Health Network for as long as I can remember because of your leadership in addressing Black health disparities. I was honored to be awarded one of BHN’s Hero in Health awards in 2013.

    Racial justice was baked into my bones from a young age. I grew up in Oakland in the 1960s when the Civil Rights movement was in full swing and while the Black Panthers followed the police in an effort to stop police brutality. Yet still, as a 60-year-old white man I am regularly reminded how deeply the white dominant culture influences my perspectives and approach. My task is to stay open, listen to the wisdom of my colleagues, know that I don't know what I don't know so I have to keep learning.

    At PHAdvocates, we prioritize the health of Black Californians in virtually everything we do. We know that when our work improves the lives of Black people, it's a sign that we have contributed to deep and meaningful change; we also know that it inevitably helps others as well.

    • In Stockton, we partner with Black churches to establish organizational and municipal policies to promote healthy eating, physical activity, and community safety. 
    • In our First Response Transformation Campaign, we help local champions in five cities redesign their police, fire, and emergency medical response systems to make them more respectful, less costly, and less racially biased.
    • Through our All Children Thrive campaign we are helping residents in 31 low income cities to develop local policies to prevent childhood trauma and enhance child wellbeing.

    Many of our campaigns are led by Black staff; all of them include some Black staff. In addition, our projects are guided by community advisory groups that ensure that our work nurtures the wisdom and creativity of participating communities, addresses overt and systemic racism and oppression, and promotes safety, trust, transparency, and collaboration.

    What barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians?

    After George Floyd’s murder, there was growing awareness in the United States about systemic racism. For a short time, there was more talk about the need for police reform, DEI programs in government and corporate settings, and curricula teaching young people about our country’s racist past and it's continued impact today. I never imagined that so many of my white friends would read How To Be an Antiracist! Unfortunately, I am afraid the tide has turned. At the national level as Donald Trump, his loyalists, the media that supports them, and the white nationalists they ignore, allow, condone, and/or support, are dedicated to eviscerating the gains we have made over the past decades. I am hopeful, however, that California can continue making progress and can be a beacon for the nation.

    What inspires me to keep doing the work I do? 

    What inspires me most are the passionate, creative, and dedicated young and diverse staff at PHAdvocates and our collective commitment to working with organizations like BHN to dismantle the unjust systems and structures that continue to leave far too many people behind. 

  • 24 May 2024 11:11 AM | Jamila Jabulani (Administrator)

    How long have you been a member of the Black Health Network, and what drew you to CBHN? 

    I have been a member of CBHN since 2023. As I am a health equity advocate, I was drawn to CBHN and the work they do.

    What is your current profession? 

    I am the owner and CEO of TKMartin Consulting and the Executive Director of Elevated Health and Community. As a consultant, I serve as an Executive Change Strategist specializing in Organizational Culture Change Management, and through Elevated Health and Community, I am working to equip individuals, particularly those in marginalized communities, with the access and resources they need to make informed, high-quality health decisions for themselves and loved ones. 

    From your perspective, what barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians? 

    As black Americans, we still experience the trauma of the historical relationship between white doctors and black patients: unauthorized experimentation, lack of care, and medical ignorance are a part of our cultural health histories.  In addition to our historical perceptions and experiences, we often don't fully understand or know all our options, and we assume, "Well, if there were more or better options, my health providers would tell me."  Unfortunately, we are not always advised, and as a result, we become passive in our health journeys, and we fail to voice the questions and concerns or get the clarification that could be the difference between life and death.  

    Both in your work and with CBHN, how have you been able to prioritize the health of Black Californians? 

    I founded Elevated Health and Community to help people gain the access, information, and resources they need to have a confident voice in achieving what they need to achieve their desired quality of health. If we can help individuals better navigate the existing systems, our communities will begin to show up more informed and demand more; ultimately, the system will have no option but to change.  Through Elevated Health and Community's Empowered Voice Workshop Series and Not Just For Runners 5K/1-Mile and Health Fair, along with CBHN's "How Do I..." campaign, together we striving toward vision are elevating individual health, building community and shifting the system from a "sick care" model to one that prioritizes overall health and wellbeing.

    What inspires you to keep doing the work you do? 

    I want to rest assured that my parents will be taken care of and that others have what they need to live the highest quality of life possible. When people express gratitude for my work, it is the most rewarding gift I could receive. My purpose is to help others and I will continue to offer guidance and support, and do the work that changes lives.

  • 30 Apr 2024 7:41 AM | Jamila Jabulani (Administrator)

    How long have you been a member of the Black Health Network, and what drew you to CBHN?

    San Diego Blood Bank just became a member in 2024. We wanted to collaborate with CBHN to educate members about the importance of diversity in blood donation and medical research – in particular, the All of Us Research Program.  We have been looking for ways to better reach and serve our local Black community and this partnership seems like a great way to do just that.

    What is your current profession?

    Chief of Staff. Previous to the San Diego Blood Bank, I spent more than fifteen years in the non-profit sector, primarily responsible for business operations and project management.

    From your perspective, what barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians?

    In my opinion, the barriers that exist are caused by a lack of trust within the research and healthcare systems. Many people who look like me simply don’t trust that their best interests are at heart. When there is a lack of trust, it’s very difficult to get someone to donate blood or participate in a clinical trial or research study.

    Both in your work and with CBHN, how have you been able to prioritize the health of Black women?

    The San Diego Blood Bank participates in many local community events geared towards educating the community on the importance of blood donation and Precision Blood™ (blood type matching). We use next generation sequencing to provide a more precise matching of blood types. This means that a patient with sickle cell disease that is in need of a blood transfusion, would receive blood from a donor who is closely matched as possible to avoid adverse reaction from the patient’s immune system. It is truly fascinating.

    What inspires you to keep doing the work you do?

    I have a very deep appreciation for the mission and vision of the San Diego Blood Bank. We save lives every day, 24-7. It warms my heart when we get a message, call or email from a CEO at a local hospital thanking us for providing blood product to save a patient life. Or when a young patient whose life was saved by our blood, comes to visit the office and show their appreciation. It reinvigorates my passion for what I do! 

  • 2 Apr 2024 10:13 AM | Jamila Jabulani (Administrator)

    How long have you been a member of the Black Health Network, and what drew you to CBHN?  

    I've been a member of CBHN for just over a year now. What drew me to CBHN was their dedicated advocacy for Black Health Equity in California. 

    What is your current profession?  

    I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in trauma, with an emphasis on racial and generational trauma along with the exploration of genealogy. 

    From your perspective, what barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians?  

    I believe the historical trauma of accessing healthcare has led to distrust in the healthcare system. Distrust due to lack of access to quality healthcare services, affordable healthcare coverage, preventive care, distance to services, and limited access to healthcare professionals who are culturally affirming and welcoming, are some of the barriers to achieving health equity for Black Californians. Lack of or limited representation in legislative roles has also been a barrier that is continuing to improve. 

    Both in your work and with CBHN, how have you been able to prioritize the health of Black Californians?  

    As a therapist, prioritizing the mental health of Black Californians has been central to my practice. I have actively sought to create a safe and affirming space where my clients feel understood, validated, and supported in their mental health journeys. The invaluable experience and insights gained as being a part of the inaugural HEAT program have reinforced the significance of health equity work for Black Californians and instilled within me a sense of courage and confidence, to continue advocating for health equity among Black Californians. 

    You were part of the first HEAT cohort, our Health Equity and Advocacy Training Program! What did you appreciate most about the experience? How have you applied the advocacy training to your work? 

    What I appreciated most about the HEAT experience was being given the opportunity to talk to legislators about something that I am passionate about. Also, the training and support of the CBHN staff were amazing and helped me feel prepared to be able to go to Sacramento. Before becoming a therapist, I worked to advocate for jobs and adequate health care services for individuals. In my early work as a therapist, I advocated for mental health services for children in schools so they could be successful in that environment. When I went to Sacramento, I realized that I missed doing advocacy work.  

    I have actually looked for some advocacy jobs and have talked to many people about my experience and encouraged them to reach out to their state legislatures and not be fearful when there is an issuethey are passionate about. 

    What inspires you to keep doing the work you do?  

    What inspires me to keep doing the work I do is seeing the positive impact it has on people's lives. Knowing that I can support others in their journey towards healing and well-being is motivating. Seeing the resilience and strength of Black communities throughout California inspires me to continue advocating for positive change. 

  • 29 Feb 2024 10:13 AM | Jamila Jabulani (Administrator)

    How long have you been a member of the Black Health Network, and what drew you to CBHN? 

    I have been a member of the Black Health Network for about a year. I was drawn to California Black Health Network (CBHN) after attending a Black Health Agenda event hosted by CBHN. I have previous experience working in the mental health field and was interested in learning more about how to close the gaps in disparities for Black Americans.

    What is your current profession? 

    Currently, I work in public health. I am also the founder of I.R. Coaching and Consulting, a coaching and consulting organization that aims to support Black women in the nonprofit sector.  

    From your perspective, what barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians? 

    I think access to culturally responsive services is one of the barriers that exist. When it comes to mental health, nationwide, 3% of therapists identify as Black according to the American Psychological Association. Additionally, there are structural barriers that have not addressed racism as a root cause making it challenging to go further upstream.

    Both in your work and with CBHN, how have you been able to prioritize the health of Black Californians? 

    Recognizing the connection of burnout, compassion fatigue, and workplace trauma for Black Women and how that impacts your mental and physical health, I started I.R. Coaching and Consulting. I have been able to support individuals and organizations and I hold on to the belief that small changes can lead to big impact.

    My inspiration to keep going comes from my late brother (nickname I.R.). He lost a battle due to an ongoing health condition, his joy lives on and pushes me through!

  • 5 Feb 2024 2:16 PM | Jamila Jabulani (Administrator)

    How long have you been a member of the Black Health Network, and what drew you to CBHN?
    I have been a member of the Black Health Network for over a year.

    What is your current profession?
    Executive Director of United Women of East Africa.

    From your perspective, what barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians?
    Black Californians encounter obstacles in accessing equitable healthcare comprehensively and address key issues related to healthcare disparities and cultural considerations. It emphasizes the importance of tackling unfair treatment, health disparities, and environmental concerns, particularly in mental health. The call for enhanced health education, improved regulations, and collaborative efforts is well-articulated. Additionally, highlighting the challenges of healthcare discrimination and cultural/language barriers further strengthens the message. Overall, the content effectively communicates the need for collective action to ensure better health outcomes for Black Californians.

    Both in your work and with CBHN, how have you been able to prioritize the health of Black Californians?
    At UWEAST, since 2008, we have played a significant role in promoting the health of East African communities, with a particular focus on women and youth. Our commitment extends from the grassroots level, where we actively engage with the community to raise awareness of health issues, with a special emphasis on mental health. Our diverse range of activities includes:

    • Engaging with the community through impactful outreach programs and educational initiatives to raise awareness about health issues, preventive measures, and available healthcare resources.
    • Ensuring that healthcare services are culturally competent and attuned to the unique needs of the East African community, addressing challenges and preferences in healthcare delivery.
    • Building meaningful partnerships with community organizations, local health departments, and other stakeholders to leverage resources and collectively address health disparities.
    • Working diligently to enhance access to affordable and quality healthcare services, implementing initiatives that specifically target barriers such as cultural and language differences.
    • Conducting thorough research and data collection to gain insights into specific health challenges within the East African community. This knowledge enables holistic-based interventions and policy advocacy.
    • Advocating for policies that tackle systemic issues contributing to health disparities, especially in mental health. This includes addressing social determinants of health, systemic racism, and economic inequalities.

    Our commitment over the years reflects our dedication to fostering a healthier and more equitable future, particularly in enhancing the community's understanding of mental health.  

    What inspires you to keep doing the work you do? What drives your ongoing efforts?

    I find inspiration in the spiritual connection and being part of the community. The unwavering commitment, dedication, and profound sense of purpose driving UWEAST's mission are truly admirable. Their focus on fostering positive change in the health and well-being of East African communities, particularly women and youth, is both commendable and inspiring. The dedication to promoting health awareness, addressing disparities, fostering partnerships, and advocating for equitable policies, including spiritual content, is truly impressive. The passion for creating meaningful change reflects the core values of UWEAST. I am genuinely excited to witness our previous participants evolve into leaders guiding our youth.

  • 1 Feb 2024 7:40 PM | Sharon Harris

    This is the book that everyone has been waiting for. Dr. G first addressed the hospice physician work force, now she and Nurse Sharon, the end-of-life doula, will educate and empower the general public about the advantages of hospice care for patients and families. There’s no need to be afraid of the H-word anymore! Learn THE REAL DEAL About Hospice Care by reading through stories that highlight the advantages of hospice care for patients and families. Nurse Sharon and Dr. G will guide you through a few of the most common diagnoses eligible for hospice care in the United States of America: ALS, Alzheimer's disease, Cancer, Heart disease, HIV, Liver disease, Pulmonary disease, Renal disease, Stroke & Coma.


  • 31 Oct 2023 11:19 AM | Jamila Jabulani (Administrator)

    Q.     How long have you been a member of the Black Health Network, and what drew you to CBHN?

    Equal medical care is not enough to end disparities in health outcomes and achieve health equity for all people of color. It takes elevating care experience, continuing to build trust, creating culturally responsive care, and establishing best practices that can be shared across the healthcare community. Joining the Black Health Network this year was an opportunity to partner with an organization whose mission is to highlight the inequities that permeate in many aspects of our society and advocate for change.

    Q.     What is your current profession?

    Throughout my career as a nurse and executive, I have gravitated toward mission-driven organizations that embody innovation, social responsibility, person-centered care, Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (EID), and invest in the communities they serve. Searching for an organization that demonstrated those key aspects ultimately brought me back to California where I joined an organization that believes everyone has a right to good health.

    As the Senior Vice President and Area Manager for Kaiser Permanente in the Central Valley, I am proud to be a servant leader within an organization that is focused on providing high-quality, culturally responsive care so our members can achieve the best possible health outcomes.

    Q.     From your perspective, what barriers exist in achieving health equity for Black Californians?

    Black people are more likely to face social and economic challenges that adversely impact health, including higher rates of poverty and food insecurity. Disparities among Black Americans include higher rates of chronic conditions, shorter life expectancy, higher maternal and infant mortality rates, and lower screening rates for cancer and heart disease. Longstanding significant disparities in health and health care are directly related to the social determinants of health such as poverty, income inequality, wealth inequality, and food security. These disparities are mostly determined by a lack in the distribution of money, power, and resources in black communities creating environments with inadequate access to healthy food choices, subpar education systems, and safety and security, among other resources.

    We need policies and resources to support more black healthcare professionals. Black people represent over 6 percent of California’s population; however we only represent 3.2 percent of California’s physicians. The pandemic’s disproportionate impact on communities of color in the United States underscored the reality that when it comes to population health, we still have major work to do to achieve health equity. We need a more diverse workforce, community leaders, policymakers, community leaders with the right experiences, skills, cultural diversity, and linguistic capabilities to meet the needs of our communities and to create health equity.

    Q.     Both in your work and with CBHN, how have you been able to prioritize the health of Black Californians?

    Inequality impacts wealth, education, employment, housing, mobility, and health. At Kaiser Permanente, our community work is central to our mission. Through our community health grants, we support inclusive economic growth, which is critical to both individual and community health.

    • During the pandemic, we supported Faith in the Valley to conduct outreach and share information with several faith-based partners within our communities.
    • We support the African American Chamber of Commerce of San Joaquin County in their efforts to advocate, develop, and promote ethnic and minority-owned businesses. Our support has assisted the Chamber in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs of color by offering training, mentoring, counseling, technical support, and professional development services to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic and to help prevent small business closures due to loss of revenue, business marketing, and lack of technological skills or resources.
    • For another year we are ecstatic to partner with Improve your Tomorrow (IYT) and fund their College Academy programs in Modesto and Tracy that work to increase the number of young men of color to attend and graduate from colleges and universities.

    Q.     What inspires you to keep doing the work you do?

    I’m inspired by black joy — a conscious intentional act of choosing joy to heal from the pain of social and economic injustices related to our lives being subjugated and our freedoms regulated. Joy radiates through me as I honor my ancestors, challenge stereotypes, and encourage the transformation of our society through our youth. Developing and inspiring our youth to seize possibilities and undertake their responsibility to transcend beyond “what was.”

    Our youth are the leaders and workforce of tomorrow, and many are challenged today by violence, intergenerational transmission of poverty, educational disadvantage, gender discrimination, and societal stereotypes. We must constantly remind them that they are the key to leading the future and closing the gaps we experience with health disparity. Our youth have grown up in a digitally interconnected world and demonstrate a technological sophistication that enables them to relate to the world, new ideas, information, and innovation. If we invest and mentor our youth and young adults, we have the privilege to influence generations to come, and help them to become the problem-solvers, entrepreneurs, and change agents of the coming decades.

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