Black Neurosurgeons Address Jacob Blake Shooting

Black Neurosurgeons Address Jacob Blake Shooting

We are tired, but we are resolute. In June, a group of Black Neurosurgeons came together to condemn the murder of George Floyd. At the time, buoyed by our newfound numbers and the groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, we were hopeful that adding our voices to those around us could help spur change in our communities. That hope feels slightly dimmed in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

We know that the arc of history bends towards justice, and we know that this arc bends slowly. However, we were all stunned by the video of the unwarranted shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police. This incident hit home, as we have all tended to patients with severe spinal cord injuries. Gunshot wounds to the spine are particularly devastating, due to the amount of energy that can be transferred to a soft, but vital structure, in a small, rigid space. While we hope for recovery, we know that his life has been forever altered. Hearing that this man, assaulted by police in front of his three young children, is now sitting, handcuffed, in the hospital, despite being paralyzed from the waist down, is almost too much to bear.

If the moral injury we have all felt in witnessing this grievous neurological attack was not enough, we are now reeling from subsequent vigilante violence in Kenosha. A 17-year old was driven into Wisconsin by his mother. He and other vigilantes like him, heavily armed, were not restrained or confined by law enforcement, but they were rather welcomed into Kenosha by police and given free reign. While engaging with protesters, this Illinois man shot a man, in the head, at close range with a rifle, before shooting two more protesters who tried to disarm him, killing one. Again, we are only too familiar with what a rifle bullet, with the massive kinetic energy it possesses, can do to the brain, causing irreparable damage, well beyond the path of the bullet. Efforts to provide first aid were futile. After shooting three people, with witnesses, on video, this man walked right past police. They did not even attempt to detain him, let alone shoot him, despite protesters identifying him as the shooter. He was later apprehended after fleeing the state, and he is now in custody, unharmed.

The cognitive dissonance of witnessing an unarmed Black man shot in the back 7 times in front of his children, while a White mass shooter with a rifle was allowed to flee a crime scene, unimpeded, is difficult to cope with. However, disparities in the application of our criminal justice system happen daily. 

Sadly, such disparities continue on a daily basis in healthcare. The world is mourning the loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor who portrayed countless Black icons, including Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, James Brown and, of course, the Black Panther, to colon cancer. Black people are 20% more likely to develop colorectal cancer, and they have a 45% higher mortality rate. Neurosurgery is not immune to the effects of implicit bias and racism. Over the past several weeks, we have been leading a series, Black Lives in Neurosurgery, where we have examined disparities in healthcare and neurosurgery. In this series, we have discussed the historical racist violence perpetrated upon Black people in the healthcare system; learned how Black trainees are disproportionately targeted and dismissed by training programs; and discussed the racism we have all experienced at the hands of patients, colleagues and the general public.

On Thursday, September 3rd, at 8:30pm EDT/5:30pm PDT, we will end our webinar series with a discussion on solutions for Black Lives in Neurosurgery. While the series ends, our work is just beginning. That work will continue to focus, in part, on neurosurgery, but we cannot sit on the sidelines while our brothers and sisters continue to experience state-sanctioned violence. We stand in solidarity with professional athletes the world over who have paused to say enough is enough. With our responsibility to our patients, a boycott is not as easy for us to organize, but we are determined to demonstrate that we will not fade quietly into the night.

Even with our collective expertise and knowledge, gathered from across the country and touching every millimeter of the nervous system, we cannot yet mend Jacob Blake’s spine, nor can we regenerate the mind lost to that vigilante’s bullet. However, we pledge that we will not leave this fight until we have found a way to protect our communities from the institutions that are supposed to be keeping them safe, both inside and outside of medicine.

We remain, in solidarity,

Nnenna Mbabuike, MD

William W. Ashley, Jr., MD, Ph.D., M.B.A., FAANS 

Edjah K. Nduom, MD, FAANS

Correspondence can be sent to: amsobns@gmail.com  

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We hope that you are taking care of yourself. It has been a difficult year. We have all been affected by the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism.

For self-care, many of us have needed to retreat from the perpetual onslaught of violence perpetrated against Black people – Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshad Brooks, Breonna Tayler, George Floyd, Jacob Blake, Elijah McClain, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton. However, we still feel spurred to action, knowing that our mission is more relevant than ever.

We would like to ask for your help. We have put together a short survey to help us pursue change with you as a partner. It will take no longer than 5-10 minutes, depending on whether you provide detailed written feedback.

Thank you for your ongoing support. We look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.

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In solidarity,

Edjah Nduom, MD
Founder and Chair, Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform, Inc.

Nzinga Harrison, MD
Founder and Co-chair, Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform, Inc.

Members of Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform

The “Collective Black Physicians’ Statement” on the death of Mr. George Floyd ​

The "Collective Black Physicians' Statement"
on the death of Mr. George Floyd ​

The following statement is written by a collective group of almost 20,000 highly-trained Black U.S. physicians, physician trainees and healthcare professionals. First, we would like to express our sincerest condolences to the family of Mr. George Floyd. We mourn for your loss and seek to ensure justice is served in accordance with the law. With this statement, we seek to accomplish two tasks: 1.) to educate the community, including the media, about the preliminary findings of Mr. George Floyd’s autopsy; 2.) to challenge the autopsy results published by Dr. Andrew M. Baker of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner Office and the State of Minnesota. 

On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis Police Department Officers Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas K. Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng responded to a call placed by Cup Foods, a South Minneapolis grocery store where Mr. George Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit 20-dollar bill to purchase a pack of cigarettes. Nearby surveillance video captured Mr. Floyd being escorted by police from his vehicle to a police cruiser across the street without overt resistance. Additional video footage from local community members also captured the fatal encounter. As Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s neck, Officers Lane and Kueng assisted by kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s legs and torso while Officer Thao kept spectators away. For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, Mr. Floyd begged for relief until he became unresponsive. Emergency medical technicians later arrived at the scene to transport Mr. Floyd to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. 

Preliminary findings from the autopsy were included in the criminal complaint released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in the arrest of Officer Derek Chauvin. The preliminary results of the physical autopsy were relayed by a Minnesota special agent purporting to describe the medical examiner’s preliminary findings. The report merely suggests there was lack of trauma to the neck, including physical injuries, contusions, soft tissue hemorrhage, lacerated vessels, or a fractured hyoid or larynx. Such findings may be seen in some cases of blunt force or abrupt trauma to the neck causing asphyxia or lack of oxygen supply to tissues and organs, leading to death. It is widely understood by medical professionals that asphyxiation can occur without physical findings. Moreover, the preliminary findings do not consider the decreased blood flow and oxygen delivery to Mr. Floyd’s brain, which he likely endured from compression of his neck. Such alterations would have thereby caused a decrease in his level of consciousness and his brain’s ability to adequately signal him to breathe. 

Lastly, Mr. Floyd’s ability to perform the proper mechanics of ventilation, namely chest wall rise and fall with inhalation and exhalation, were undoubtedly compromised by the presence of the Officers Lane and Kueng kneeling onto his torso. While it is possible that Mr. Floyd had underlying chronic medical issues such as coronary artery disease and hypertension, these preexisting conditions did not directly contribute to his death on May 25, 2020 while in the custody of the Minnesota Police Department. We assert that the most probable cause of death of Mr. George Floyd was the physical occlusion of his airway, decreased blood flow and oxygen delivery to his brain, and restricted ventilation due to the physical restraint afflicted by Officers Chauvin, Lane and Kueng. 

In addition to the physical autopsy performed, examination of laboratory evidence obtained during the autopsy, as well as medical records for the decedent, contribute to the final determination of cause and manner of death. Any mention of potential intoxicants of which Mr. Floyd may have been under the influence is meritless at this stage of the physical autopsy examination. In a medicolegal autopsy, the results of a urinary toxicology screen are often inaccurate. All substances must be detected and confirmed in blood and/or particular organs before it can be said that an individual was intoxicated and that death is a complication of that toxicity. 

The findings released in the criminal complaint appear to be preliminary and are not a comprehensive final autopsy report. We are concerned that current information released from this report fails to objectively state the medical findings present during the physical autopsy and makes assumptions before many of the confirmatory tests and exam results have been obtained. Furthermore, it is incumbent on the media to clearly state all sources and the intent of releasing incomplete medical information. The language used in the citing of the preliminary findings is misleading to the general public and inappropriately casts doubt on the character of Mr. Floyd and the circumstances surrounding the role of Officer Chauvin in his death. 

As Black physicians in the U.S., we take our professional responsibilities and duties seriously. We want to ensure that the preliminary autopsy findings released in the criminal complaint are appropriately explained to the public who may have limited understanding of medical terminology and practices. Trivial error or misinterpretation of medical information can have devastating consequences. We reject conclusions drawn from the preliminary autopsy findings. Again, we assert that the most probable cause of death of Mr. George Floyd was the physical occlusion of his airway, decreased blood flow and oxygen delivery to his brain, and restricted ventilation, all due to the physical restraint aided by Officers Chauvin, Lane and Kueng of the Minnesota Police Department. We will continue to scrutinize the medicolegal documents presented in this case to ensure that ethical and unbiased information has been collected independently from law enforcement, prosecutors, and media. Mr. George Floyd, like any other American citizen, deserves justice. 

Statement of support from our Black veterinarian colleagues As Black veterinarians, we play an integral role in contributing to the mental health and well-being of our black community, through the preservation of the human-animal bond and as first line defenders against zoonotic disease. Black representation is vital in all aspects of healthcare, including veterinary medicine. We wholeheartedly stand behind the statement released by our Black physician colleagues.

Physician Organizers

Derica N. Sams, MD
Sadé McKenzie, MD
Tamara Floyd, MD
Ogechukwu Eze, MD, MHS
Angela N. Baldwin, MD, MPH
Sasha Breland, MD
Ogar Ogar, MD

Veterinarian Organizers

Situnyiwe T. Walker, DVM
Marcy McKeithen, DVM

Editor

Mrs. Tina Moore, Director of Advanced Academics

Contributors

Nataisia Terry MD, MBA
Adesola Oyewole, DO
Paula Magee, MD, MPH
Kristy L. Cromblin, MD
Chemen M. Neal, MD, FACOG, FAMW
Funmilola Oladini, MD, MBA
Stephanie Agyemang, MD
Ashley NJ Clark, MS1
Valerie Lemaine, MD, MPH
Nnamdi Orakpo, MD, PhD
Robert D. Wardlow II, MD, PhD
Jeanene Smith, MD
Nebiyu Shukur, MD
Gray Derwin, MD, FACOG
Kimberly Bernard, MD
Janel Gordon, MD
Jamira T. Jones, MD
Darnell Blackmon, MD
Ebony Onianwa, MS3
Rhonia Gordon, MD
Oyeyimika Oyekanmi, DO
Nardos Temesgen, MD
Matthew Villavasso, PharMD
Amber J. Navy, MD
Bretonya Johnson, MD
Adys Mendizabal, MD
Danielle Beharie, DO, MPH
Christopher Obinna Samuel, MS3
Susie A. Turkson, MS3
Karla Martin, MS2
Briana Mucci-Jackson, MS2
Ifechukwude Ikem, MD
Trecia Henriques, MD, JD
Ariana Martin, DO
Carisa Hines Moore, MD
Monique McDermoth, MD, MPH
Soenda Norman, MD
Karis Browder, MD
Dontre’ M. Douse, MD
Jamie Mosher, MD
Vania J. Singleterry, MD
Nwadiogo Ejiogu, MD, MA
Onyinyechi Eke, MD
Amber Hardeman, MD, MBA, MPH
Ginger N. Unegbu, DDS
Tamara Brooks, MD
Oluwakemi Ogundipe, MD, MPH
Chika Esochaghi, MD
Michele Kautzman, MD
Melita Williams, MD, ABFM
Darion L. Showell, DO
LaWonda Canzater, MS4
Elisa Birnbaum, MD
Yusuf Mathai, MD, MPH
KMarie Reid, MD
Darian Harris, OMS4
Chinasa Nwankwo, MD
Kiara C. Smith, MS4
Cierra Allen, MD
Oloruntosin Adeyanju, MD
Ruth Arumala, DO
Laticia Stewart, MD
Juliet Okoroh, MD
Rashida Clarke, OD
Vovanti Jones, MD
Jamaan Kenner, MD
Nicole Oakman, MD
Reona Broadwater, MD
Daniela Bennett, MS4
Jennea Correia, MD
Evelyn Nelson, MD
Nykia Burke-Bray, MD, MPH
Naomi Robertson, MD, PharMD

Gina M Blocker, MD
Adrienne Johnson, MS3
Rita Aidoo, DO
Erica Sails, MD
Lauren McHenry, MS3
Davon L. Thomas, MD
Arielle Freeman, MS3
Michele Blackledge, DDS
Candace L. Clinton, MD, MBA
Chevaughn Wellington, MS4
Alexis K. Okoh, MD
Angelica Emeakoroha, DPM
Anna Ayum, DO, MBS
April Adams Szafran, MD, PhD
Marissa Moultrie, MD
Lauren K. Creecy, PharmD, MPH
Margaret Ridge, MD
Kortnee Y. Roberson, MD
Gladyne Confident, MD
Dominique Cameron, MS1
Amanda Dupre, DO
Tolulope Akinbo, PharmD, MPH, BCPS
Ashley Rhoades, PMHNP
Tarshree Sawyer, MD
Phyllis J. Gee, MD
Kelsey N. McLeod, MD
Jessica Reyes-Peterson, MD, MPH
Brittny Randolph, MS4
Khadijah Breathett, MD, MS, FACC, FAHA, FHFSA
Peyton Johnston, MS3
William Muhammad, MS4
Avril Ano, DO
Erica Mailler, MD
Rachel Banks, MD
Lukas Kahsay, MD
Tomi Seriki, DO, MPH
Donald C. Okoye, MD
Jerrilyn Jones, MD, MPH
Innocent Akujuobi, MD
Charisse C. Graham, MD
Bethel Essaw, MD
Joye Fordham, MD
Arthur A. Griffiths, MD, FACEP
Jennifer Alexander, MD
Cedrina L. Calder, MD, MSPH
Justin Garvin, MS3
Onome Oboh, MS4
Kathia Raphael, MD
Olubukola Toyobo, MS4
Nita D. Gombakomba, MS3
Kimberly Gillens, MD
Kimberly Cruz, MD
James Osei-Sarpong, MD
Y. Sokoya, MD
Thandiwe C. Gray, MD
Jennifer Jolivert, MS3
Lisa Tharler, DO
Donnell McDonald, MD
Jeffrey C. Okonye, MD
Rico Beuford, MS4
Djana Harp, MD
Masrai Williams, MS4
James Hayes, DVM
Jasmine M. Nolan, MS, DVM
Amen I Ogunmekan, PharmD, BCPP
Chinwe Unegbu, MD
Zarinah Hud, DO
Fredrick Ntumy, MD
Aaron Pettyjohn, MD
Shatima D. Seward, MD
Mariam Ali-Mucheru, MD
Vanessa Nzeh, MD
Britt Gayle, MD/MPH
Gerard F. Acloque Jr., MD
Romila Mushtaq, MD
Robert Drummond, MD, PhD
Laurenie G. Louissaint, MD
Tolulope Adeyemo, MD
Dawn Johnson Leonard, MD, FACS Frank Tillman, PharMD
Mary E Fleming, MD, MPH
Stacy Sachiko Hull, MD
Dionne Adaora Ibekie, MD
Emmanuella Ngozi Asabor, MD, PhD
Lisa Watts, MD
Kristi Johnson, DO
Deashia McAlpine, MS2
Kenneth Williams, MS3
Evelyn A. Darius, MD
Valerie Takyi, MD
Stacey Murray-Taylor, MD
Millicent Okereke, MD
Kalilah Allen-Harris, MD
Ogonna Iwuora, MD
Ajayi Scott-Robinson, MS3
Anika Lucas, MD, MTS
Janice Dara, MD
Danielle J. Johnson, MD, FAPA
Nnenna S. Ezeh, MD
Shandi Fuller, MD, MPH
Richard E. Cook Jr., MD
Brittney N. Newby, MD, PhD
Andy-Bleck Nwancha, MS3
Barbara Chukwu, MS4
Staceyann Smith, MD, MPH
Phoebe Griffin, MD
Brandon Dixon, MS4
Whitney R. Smith, MD
Michele Lagarde-May, MD
Shamarick Blue, MD
Tolulope Akinshola, MS1
Jasmin Nwachokor, MD
Monique G. Hedmann, MD, MPH
Katrina L. Cork, MD
Marcus L. Marable, MS3
Jennifer Elliott Allen, MD
T. Oshodi, MD
Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH
Richard Louissaint, MD
Lucille Martinez, MD
Nadja N. Jones, MD
Deborah R. Griffiths, MD, FACEP
Marcus Cleveland Germany, MD
Kimberley Smith, MD
Christine Bussey, MD
Shannon Thompson, MS, DDS
Racquel Holmes, MD
Chelsea Sumner, PharMD
Jennifer Rowe Snell, MD
Jonathan Hickson, MD, MPH
Yetunde Orafidiya, MD
Tamiko Jackson McArthur, MD
Jessica A. Johnson, MD
Maria C. Warren, DVM
Lucky Krog, MS2
Avery Anaje, DMD
Meagan Morrison, MD
Ashley K. Crumby, MD
Zoë I. Smith, MD
Malika Anderson, PharMD
Hannah E. Paulding, MD
Uche Anigbogu, MD
Lauren Rowe, DVM
Faidat Gbajabiamila, MS2
Nefertari Terrill-Jones, MD
Elizabeth Ray-Smith, MD
Cynthia Anunobi, MD
Jodi-Ann Edwards, MD
Rula Al-Saghir, MD
Tahreem Aziz, DO
Brianna Mays, MS1
Alexis Webber, MD
Ikechukwu Onyedika, MD
Tatiana Nunez, MD
Kathryn D. McGhee, MD
Nicole Thomas, MD
Alexis Hammond, MD, PhD
Erica Broussard, MD
Letitia Lyons Watson, MD
LaKeisha Davis, DMD
Alicia N. Sanders, MD
Yanick Elame, PharMD
Laurrn Carroll, MD, MBA
Rebecca Shatsky, MD
Kemoy Harris, MD
Michael Otoo, MS2
Nathalie Adam, MS2
Magdala Chery, DO, MBS
Jameca Price, MD
Amie C. Casey, DVM
Jennifer J. Parker, MD, PhD, MPH
Fausta Tabe, OD
Kerri Carter, MD
Tseganesh Selameab, MD
Kevin Vernet, DMD
Jessica Nelson, MD
Kethia Eliezer, MD
Courtney Hall, PharMD
Kelly Gilgeours, MD
Janifer Tropez-Martin, MD, MPH
Chae Life, MD
Sopuru Ezeonu, MS3
Nakish Grant, MD
Tolulope Odedokun, MD
RaShonda Flowers, MD
Shakevia Johnson, MD
Cathy Richards, DO
Odolohe Augustin, OMS1
Oluwatosin Ayotunde, MD
Linda F. Korley, MD
Janelle Baptiste, MD, MPH
Indigo A. Gill, MS2
Olivia O. Oyegunle, OD
Cameron Rutledge, MBS
Tracey Banks, MD
Lauren D. Ausama, MD
Linisha Mills, DDS
Michaela Banks, MD, MBA
Alex Rodriguez, MD
Kori Mansfield, MD
Marjory Charlot, MD
Willnella Peters, OD
Jasmine L. May, MD, PhD
Olumide Akindutire, MD
Namdi Nwasike, MS2
Ujuka Iloabuchi, MD
Nathan Chomilo, MD
Chiebonam Oguejiofor, MD
Jaurel Harley, MD
Roxanne D. Semple, MD
Sarah Washington, MD, FAAP
Patricia Jean-Charles, DO
Raven M. Jewett, DVM
Martha Ocansey James, MD
Iyesha Robinson, MD
Adetunbi Ayeni, MD
Hawa Tunkara, MD
CPT Juanetta Asare Wassow, PharmD,
BCPS Leidy Isenalumhe, MD
Chynna D. Smith, OMS4
Alexis Pascoe, MD
Brian Clark, MD
Taylor Davis, MD
Leigha M. Carryl, MS2
Tiffany Gillion, OMS3
Myra M. Morris, DMD
Travis Bryant, MS4
Rachel J. Baiyee-Cady, DO
Uju Eziolisa, DO
Anton M. Alerte, MD
Amber Bell, MS4
Brandon A. Roberts, MD
Farrah-Amoy Fullerton, MD, MS4
Tameta Clark, MD
Jon A. Cokley, PharMD
Alanna A. Morris, MD, MSc
Beatrice Jourdain, OMS3
Beza Tekola, MD
Margaret Ridge, MD
Edidiong David, MD
Charla N. Burns, MD
Sharon T. Thomas, MD
Curtis Errol Ball, DO
D’Angela Pitts, MD
Samuel Opoku-Acheampong, MD, MBA
Jay-Sheree Allen, MD
Kywanna Alfred, MD
Precious Bieni, DDS
Bianca Aibuedefe, MS1
Kesha Allen, MD
Aliya Brown, PharMD
Dedriana Lomax, MS3
Alyshia Wiggins, PharMD
James McGhee, MD
Michele Troutman, MD
Brittany L. Hozik, MD
Isis Holloway, DO
Taylor D. Jenkins, MD
Erica Sutton, MD
Adebola Falae, MD
Fritz-Andre Duterlien, DPM
Dominique M. Woods, MD, MPH
Margaret Carole Stewart, MD
Bahareh Aslani, MD
Keon Anderson, DDS
Amalia I. Lee MD, MPH
Melanie Malloy, MD, PhD
Ashley Ezema, MS3
Lamarr Holland, DMD
Tomica D. Blocker, MD, PhD
Joy N. Williams, MD
Chioma Oti, DO
Frank Acheampong, PharMD
Derek Kwakye, MD
Philip A. Davidson, DDS
Anthony Isenalumhe Jr., MD, DABAM
Catherine Lewis, MD, PhD
Benaifer P. Siganporia, MS2
Amblessed Onuma, MD, MS
Asha Davis, MD
Leonard Alexander Stallings, MD
Brittany Parker, MD
Shermnae D. Jones, DDS
Dorian Longshore, DMD
LaToya S. Clark Hughes, MD
Jennifer M. Moore, MD
Deanna Graves, PharMD
Rumbi Kapfumvuti, OMS3
Charley Cheney III, DMD
Dana Reynolds, MD
Cynthia Jamison, MD
Lydia W. Searcy, MD
Shelley J. Henderson, MD
Monicka Felix, MD
Olusola O Isikalu MD, MBS
Dominique C. Smith, MD
Devon Aganga, MD
Christina Marcelus, MS
Brittany Tarrant, MD, MS
Chideraa Ukeje, MS4
Robin Kindred, MD
Monique Butler, MD, MBA
Joselyn Hines, OMS2
M N Achong MD
Sagine Berry-Tony, MD
Michele Thomas, MD
Emmanuelle Ruocco, MD
Rhonda O. Williams, MD
Nneka O. Sederstrom, PhD, MPH, MA, FCCP, FCCM
Oyenmwen Joy Inneh, MD
Sūra Edmond, MD, MBS
Jennifer B. Harris, PharMD
Schneider Rancy, MS4
Alexandra Altamura, MS1
Angela Rodgers, MD
Adesuwa Akhetuamhen, MD
Rahiwa Gebre, MD
N. Dhliwayo, MD
Oluwatosin Adebiyi, MS4
Lukmanafis Babajide, MD
Samuel Olukayode Ayo, MD
Faidat Gbajabiamila, MS2
Paul Tripathi, MD
Marc Harrigan, MD
Akua Boah, MD
Stacy Ejem, MD, MS
Nnenna Mbabuike, MD
Marsha Lachaud, DO
Mia H Weber MD
Kyeiwaa Amofa-Boachie, MD
Tiffany Chioma Anaebere, MD
Danielle R. Doucet, MD
Ondreia J. Hunt, MD
Alyssa Eily, MD
Shakera M. Holmes, OD, MS
Will McClure Jr., MD
Nwamaka Amobi, MS1
Olutola Yerokun, MS2
Jasmine Fernander, OMS1
D. Wayne Smith, MBA, MA, MD
Haley K. Talbot Stetsko, MS2
Melissa Williams, MD
Andrea Williams, MD, MPH, FACOG
Razaz Mageid, MD
Rodrick Stewart, DO
Joselyn Hines, OMS2
Sandhya Vinta, MD
Eboni A. Reed, MD
Bernice Badu, MS4
Shanté Barnes, MS2
Najaz K Woods-Bishop, MD
LaTasha Marshall, PharMD
Ene Grace Morgan, MD
Therlinsie Fleurizard, MD
Jessica Fenton, MS4
Joseph A. Quash Jr., MD
Wendy Clay, MPH, MS4
Ifeoma Oriaku, MD
Mary Fakunle, MD
Seun Wert, DO
Natalie Wallace, MD
Linelle F. Campbell MD, MS
Maxwell Sencherey, DO
Charrell Bird, MD
Cameo Cozart-Chance, MD
Ayanna Smith, MD, MPH
Sheena Pullman, MD
Ashada Knight, MD
Jazmine Harris, MD
Jacqueline Rice-McKenzie, MD
Robert Assibey, MD
Zonía Moore, MS1
Chelsea Osuji, MS2
Louis Rolston-Cregler, MD
Kyndra Liburd, MD
Farrah-Amoy Fullerton, MS4
Scha’chia Murphy, MD, MPH
Seleipiri Iboroma Akobo, MD, MBA, MPH
Oscar D. James, MD
Marvah Hill Pierre-Louis, MD
Tsedey Eshetu, MD
April Watson Stringfellow, DDS
Demetria Smith-Graziani, MD
Natalie Moulton-Levy, MD
Kiesha Fraser Doh, MD
Melanie K. Sion, MD
Valerie Hansbrough, MD
Pamela Y. Martin, DVM
Elizabeth Damstetter, MD, FAAD
Semhar Tesfai, MD
Chantelle L. Collins, MD
Olufenwa Milhouse, MD
Ololade Akinfemiwa, MS
Pamela C. Bland, MD
Lauren Cooper, OMS2
Allison McDade, MD
Mari-Ashli Foy, MD
Michael D. Boswell, MD
Sarah E. James, MD, PhD
Patricia P. Jeudin, MD
Melani Sanders, MD
Phylicia D. Gawu, DO
Erika Cravanas, MD
Malik C. Spady, MD
Akemie Gray, MD
Dianne O’Neal, MD
Alesia Billingslea, MD
Vanessa Rose, MD
Chinelo Onyeka, DO
Donique Cross, MD
Hannah D. Rice, DVM
Maurell L. James, OMS2
Ric Smith, MD
Trina Parker, MD
Carman Windom, MS1
Tiona Stephens, MD
Katherine Young, MD
Tori Greaves, MS3
Nicole Murray, MPH, MS3
Erica Barry, PharMD
Rick Gustave, MD
Ansa Anderson, MD
Kimberly Shields, DDS
Estelle A. Rutledge, MD
Earic Bonner, MD
Nformbuh Asangmbeng, MD
Merije Chukumerije, MD
Maureen Nwaokoro, DO
Naa Akawa Koppoe, MD
Chantel Thompson, OMS4
Ebele Compean, MD
Ulunna MacBean, MD, FACS
Joshua Omade, MS4
Paula Oruh, PharMD
Ameera Haamid, MD
Tariq Islam, MS
Folashade Wolfe-Modupe, MD
Lorelle E Bradley, MD
Vanessa K Ferrel, MD, MPH
Anicia M. Ivey, MD
Tamandra Morgan, MD, ScM
Hope-Elizabeth Clennon, DO
Chika Chukwu, MS4
Anita Haynes, MD
Karla Tytus, MS3
Steffie-Ann Dujon, MD
Shacelles Bonner, MD
Nneka Hendrix, MD
LaKisha Mamon, MD
Nicole Bell, DDS
Tawanna Charlton, MS3
Phylicia Odume, DO
Brittney Williams, MD
Justin Clark, MD
Thomas Riley, MS4
Elizabeth Siaw, MS3
Seyi Aderotoye-Oni, MD
Krys Foster, MD, MPH
Furkan Shinaishin, MD
Diana Mosquera, MD
Kiesha Raphael, MD
Kimberly Adu-Gyamfi, MS2
Taurah Dizadare MS, MLS (ASCP), MS3
Venita Simpson, MD
Randy Jerod Barbour, Jr., PhD
Dawit Jowhar, MD
Yolandra Hancock, MD, MPH
Daphney Noel, MS3
Kendra Merine, MD
Nnaemeka Afamefuna Onyekaba, MD
Angelica Garrett Wood, MD
Yah Kamei, MD
Araba Ofosu-Somuah, MD
Alexandra G. Caldwell, MS3
Leslie Yates, PharMD
Maryruth E. Jordan, DVM
Nofisat Almaroof, MD
Britanne Doss, MD
Alicia Rodgers, OMS3
DaShaunté M. Coleman, DVM
Eghosa Enabulele, MS2
Cameron Body, MD
Dominique Cross, MD
Veneshia McKinney-Whitson, MD
Adeola Adelayo, MD
Kerri Latchmansingh, MD
Jasmine S. Howell, PharMD
Pilar Stevens Haynes, MD, FACC
Brieanna B. Bivens, MD
Nnaemeka Emenari, PharMD
Jameika Stuckey, PharMD
Nkiruka Chukudebelu Olele, MD
Candice Chipman, MD
Dara Spearman, MD
Archiebold Johnson, MD
Christian Pean, MD
Letitia A. Cosbert, MD
Reuben Horace Jr., MPH, MS3
Gregory Larrieux, MD
Erica Waples, MD, MPA
Schyler Edwards, MS3
Shanna Warner, DDS
Najah Waters, MD, MPH
Augusta Ankoh, DMD
Shaletha Jones, MD
Olubadewa A. Fatunde, MD, MPH
Keisha Barry, MD
Debra Eluobaju, MS
Melissa Kelly, DO
Kartemus O. Heary, MD, MSCI
Genise Mcaskill, MD
Robyn Sackeyfio, MD
Taisha S. Husbands, MD
Will Kennedy, MD
Noelani S. Gonzales, MS2
Tem Woldeyesus, MD
Alexandria Opata, MD
Asha Morrow, MD
Osei Bekoe, MD
Delphine George, DDS
Emmanuel L. Chandler, MD
Tolani Are, MS3
Letitia A. Yearby, PharMD
Otibhor Igene, MD
Jaudé K. Petrie, MS2
Danielle Arnold, MD
Melaku Arega, MS3
Regine Boutin, MD
Antoinette Stewart, MS2
Brian Perry, MD
Alex Balmir, DO
Warren G. Lee III, MD
Iymaan Pinkman, MS4
Joseph Acquaye, MD
Toyosi Olafuyi, MS
Jamie Rogers, OMS1
Blair A. Streater, MD, MEd
Delight Mungoma, MS3
Asha Ayub, MS4
LaToya Crabbe, PharMD
Lori-Ann Glasgow, MD
Dorian Bonam, MS, DO
Nefertiti Tyehemba, MD
Zahra Omar, DDS
Nicole Ramsey, MD, PhD
Paula Denoya, MD
Percy Takyi, OMS-2
Ifeoma Imonugo, MD
Shironda Stewart, MD
Odicie Fielder-Kimbrough, MD
Aloys Nsereko, MD
Stephanie Garcia, MD
Theresa Call, MD
Zuri Hudson, DO
Joanna Akinlosotu, MD
Jacqueline S. McLaughlin, MD
Anthony Warhelume Okolo, MD
Tyler Marie Kiles, PharmD, BC-ADM
Bell Girma, MD
Keon Pearson, MD
Grant Porter, PharMD
Francise Lamothe, MD
Brett Mitchell, MS2
Filsan Farah, MD
Uchenna Agbim, MPH, MD
Jill Kaplan, PhD
Mona Gupta, DO
Tanise Branche, MD
Adwoa A. Adu, MD
Felisha Perry-Smith, MS4
Jarrett L. Manning, DDS, MPH
Wendi K. Wardlaw, DDS
Simisola Alalade, MD
Victor I. Emmanuel, PharMD
Brittany Mays, MD
Enat Arega, MSc, MS1
Tamara Davis, PharmD, BCPS
Shanteria Dixon, MD, MPH
Ebony Darden, PharMD
Ashlee Roberson, MD
Omotayo Salami, PharMD
Bianca Mosley, MD
Shannon Ejiofor, DO
Eniola Ogundipe, MS3
Candace Tannis, MD
Valerie A. Pierre, MD
Danoucheka Gelin, MD
Ian A. Thompson, MD, MPH
Autumn Stevenson, MS
Linda L. McIntire, MD
Tonia Branche, MD, MPH
Tiffany Clay, MD
Dwan Perry, DO
Anu Akinsanya, MD
Lynea Bull, MD
Sara Maples, MD
Keia Sanderson, MD, MSCR
Angelique Turner, MS3
Cassandra Mitchell, MS3
Kelsea R. Grant, MS3
Lester H Lambert, MS2, ENS

Terri-Ann Nelson, MS
Jasmine M. Dillard, MD
Shikerria L. Green, MD
Adrianne A. Deveira, MD
Anthony C. May, MS2
Shakeilla Shabazz, MD
Nakitta Noel, MD
Chelsy Webb, MD
Linda Plummer Ward, MD, MBA
Nicole Guynn, MS
Catrina Ellis, PharmD, CPh
Nachelle Aurelien, MD
T. King, MD
Jacqueline Francis, MD, MPH
Shawnese Gilpin, MD, MPH
Joi S. Phillips, MD
Donessa Fraser, MD
Bridgette Callaham, MD
Joffre Johnson, MD
Vontriska Jones, DS
Natacha Pierre, MD
Kelvin A. Barry, Sr., DPM
Kersha Pennicott, MD
Mergie Desir, MD
RenalDO
Williams, MD
Chonn Cadiz, MD
Zainab Abdullah, MD
Circe Lassegue, DDS
Cynthia Lewis, MD
Marie Dufitumukiza, MD
Oluwadamilola Ajiboye, MD
Keeley A. McNeal, DVM
Olufolarin Oke, MD
JoAnn Warrick, MD
Dominique Durham, DMD
Charlene Brown, DDS
Jasmine Rogers, OMS1
Genise A. Evans, DDS
Wilhemina Kennedy, MS2
Brandon Penn, MD, MBA
Ingrid Wilson, MD
Ashlyn Williams, DVM
Catherine Christie, MD
Christian B. Lawrence, MD
Sheba Christina Ebhote, MS4
Samantha Bosse, MD
Titilola Sode, MD
Byron V. Etta, MD
Ann Arthur, MD
Jacqueline Joe, MD
Beth McCampbell, MD
Marcee Wilder, MD, MS, MPH
Akayla Gillians, MD
Kimilia Kent, MS, PharMD
Victoria Lybrand, MD
Atasha Jordan, MD, MBA
Rewaida Hall, MD
Tiffany Humes, OD
Onyinyechukwu Okorji, DO
Fritz-Andre Duterlien, DPM
Evangela Anderson, DPM
Carmen V. Brown, MD, FACOG, FRANZCOG
Aisha Moore, DDS
LaShire Diegue, MD
Nichelle Logan, PharMD
Kerry-Ann Kelly, MD
Oronde Smith, MD
Sheriff Akinleye, MD
Camille Richards, MD
Tanya Howard, MD
Yolanda M. Lenzy, MD, MPH
Tonya H. Hunter, MD
Erin P. Carter, MD
Alexandra Thompson, MD
Jordan Branch, MS3
Anique Forrester, MD
Lindsey Keys White, MD
Linda Ojo, MD, MPH
Ebubechi Okwumabua, MD, MS, MHS
Melanie N. Wilson, MD
Jennifer Wade Seaton, MD
Rishan Tesfay Desta, MD
Brandan L. Dotson, MD
Kristoff Gayle, MD
Janelle Miller, MD
Ericka N. Oliver, MD
Brittany N. Palmer, DVM
Lorece Shaw, PharMD
Jacqueline D. Wilson, MD, MPH
Jenifer Thomas, MD
Chinonso Asinugo, MD
Oladimeji Oki, MD
Jamie Hill-Daniel, MD
Stanley Dumond, MD
Brittany Blue, MD
Abina Goncalves, MD
Daidre Azueta, MD
Noel-Marie Fischre, MD
Yolanda Shaw, MD
RobinJacquet-Williams, MD
Alisahah Cole, MD
Cedric Dark, MD, MPH, FACEP
Shayla Nesbitt, MD, MPH
Whitney Talbott, MD
Adebimpe Oyowe, MD, PhD
Bernice Aduamankwa, MD
Fred Jones-Rosa, MD
Juanita Lewis, MD
L. Yvette Robinson, MD, MPH
Lekiesha K. Porter, MD
Dawn Walters, DVM
Jamesha S. Ford, DO
Shaveonté Graham, MS2
Jessica Reynolds, MD
Malkit Singh, MD, MPA
Morgan Jivens, OMS4
Mithila Jegathesan, MD
Cynthia Gatiri, MS3
Nana E. Tchabo, MD
Candice April, DDS
Beverly Belle, MD
Sierra A. Clark, MS4
Sarahjean Kerolle, MD
Jasmine Bookert, MD
Stafford Brown Jr., MD
Aisha Stroop, MD
Chike Ochieze, MD
Annie J. Daniel, PhD
Tamanda Douglas, MD
Van Johnson, DPM
Nadirah L. Chin, PharMD
Mercy Dickson, MD, MBA
Mikaela Moore, MS4
TKayhlia Cornish, OMS1
Amaris Yandel, DO
Patricia Millner, MD
Nusirat Jinadu, MD
Peace Orji, MS
Dea Jini Sloan, MD, MPH
Megan Borens, MD
Erica Igbinoghene, MD
Courtney Vito, MD
Janet D. Morgan, MD
Mohamed Diop, MD, MS
Nadia Anderson, MPH, MS1
Angela Guzman, MD
Ashley Green, MD
Carol Major, MD
Darlene Davis, DDS
Alrick L. Drummond, MD
LaVonne Hairston, MD
Hiwot Mengiste, MD
Akachi Agor, MS4
Mwamba Mvula, MD
Sarah-Pearl Siganporia, MS4
K. Marche’ Robinson, MD
Taneisha Sinclair, MS
Zelalem Temesgen MD
Tamika K. Cross, MD
Ebehi Ibazebo, MD
Lorelle E. Bradley, MD
Erica Louden, MD, PhD
Aunsha Williamson, MS2
Mariah Bullock, VS
Lindsay B. Howard, MD
Andrea Best, MD
Mwatsveruka N. Munhutu, MD, MPH
Porchia James, DDS
Arnaud Batchou, MS4
Lori-Ann Daley, MD
Jessica Richason Johnson, DPM, MHA, ABPM
Stephanie Taylor, PharMD
Avia Wilkerson, MD
Lori Hutchinson, MD
Sarita Metzger, MD, MPH
Stacey Starkes, DDS
Kristina Hart, MS3
Adekemi Akano, MD
Tashana Haye, MD
Kimberly Schwartz, MD
Charnise Taylor, MS3
Jonathan Diah, MD
Onyeka Otugo, MD, MPH
April Kelly, DVM
Svena Julien, MD
Lynn A. Pauls, MD
Amanda L. Amin, MD, MS
Chinomnso Ekeke, MD
Collette Onyejekwe, PharMD
Krista Miller, MD
Antionette Knox, DVM
Chanel J. Redden, DVM, CVA
Clara Woods, MS1
Lauren O’Neill, MD
Akua A. Domfe, MD
Angela K. Brice, DMV, PhD, DACVP
Hebist Berhane, MD
Chiatne McFarland, MD
Eliceia Dionne Jackson, MD
Evelyn Taiwo, MD
Phillip R. Traylor, MD
Regina Hampton, MD, FACS
Jamela Middleton, MD
O’Rese J. Knight, MD
Camille Wilson, MD
Keva T. Green, MD
Anne E. Hardy-Henry, MD
Chyleigh J. Harmon, BS, MS4
Temitope Foster, MD, MSCR
Patrice Barber, DDS
Dapo Iluyomade, MD
Liese Pruitt, MD, MSCI
JeNita Partridge, MD
Christian Hendrix, MD
Donald R. Lynch Jr., MD
Doreen Kyere, MD
LaTandra Blue, OD
Chima Amadi, MBA, MS4
Samira L. Brown, MD
Emmanuel U. Obi, MD
Allison Latimore, MD
T.M. Crawford, DMD, MSD
Joseph Laseter, MS3
Angelique Gadson, MS3
Danielle Hairston, MD
Lauren Tamara Wilson, MS4
Latisse Mays-Stovall, MD
Allyn O. Toles, MD
Julia Cartledge, MD
Chelsea Henshaw, MD
Ronda Lynn Broady, DO
Anna Juern, MD
Regina Smith, DO
Cynthia Lawrence Dugas Elliott, MD
Marie Denise Gervais, MD
Carlye D. Summers, DVM
Theophilus O. Abah, MS, MS3
Krystal M. Preston, PharmD, BCPS
Tiffany Jones, MD
Maureen Onweni, MD
Nicole D. White, MD
Linda Forrester, MS1
Juline Asamoah, MD
Olayemi U. Okunseinde, MD
Gerald E Morris MD, MPH, ABOM
Ashley M. Wilson, MD
Amir Hobson, MS2
Melissa Espert, MD
Anisa Shomo, MD
Tosin Fatusin, MD
Aminatu Akande, MD
Kristina Dortche, MS4
Sudhi Trye, MD
Jacqueline Deneen Griffiths, MD
Tina Pickett, MD
Deborah Dyett Desir, MD
Beza Getahun, MS4
Tamarrah C. Davis, MD
Lusana Ahsan, MD
Symphorosa Williams, MD
Darwin D. Smith, MD
Bahrenegash Getachew, MD
Laveil M. Allen, MD
Uchenna C. Ewulonu, MD
Linet Nyaribo, MD
Joy Ebo, PharMD
Ashley Atkinson, MD
Rachel-Marie Cazeau, MD
Veronica Wright, MD
LaToya N. Walker, MD
Tammeka Nickleberry, DDS
Sierra Burden, MD
Ozioma Obiwuru, MD
Aina Adekunle, MD
Judea Wiggins, MD
Shannon Cannon, MD
Onyinye I. Iweala, MD, PhD
Arthur Only, MD
Dana Baker, DVM
Dolani Ajanaku, MD
Faith Crittenden, MPH, MS4
India Gibson, DDS
Moremi A. Gravesandy Vassall, MD
Saboria Thomas, MPH, MS3
Cynthia Akagbosu, MD
Fisayo Kayode-Ajala, MD, MPH
Regine Mathieu, MD
Kimberlynn M Heller, DO, FACOG
Crystal Obih, MD, BSN
Stephanie E. Kuntz, DO
Edwina Clarke, MD
Veronica G. Lewis, MD
Jessica D. Blanding, MD
Sheridan Charles, MD
Alicea Hill, OD
Ayesha N. Lovick, MD
Lishan J. Walker, MD
Jessica D. Williams, MD
C. Camille Okekpe, DO, MS
Uchenna R. Okereke, MD, MSCI, FAAD
Jessica Brereton Peterkin, DMD
Lovelle McFadden-Parsi, DO
Musa Ajamu Williams, MD
Sabrina Whitehurst, MD
Carmen Gonzales, MD
Robert Pierre, DMD
Abiola A. Babawale, DO
Jennifer Adrissi, MD
Angela M Porter, MD
Sebastian G. Placide, MD
Nicholas Robinson, PharMD
Keyonna Taylor-Coleman, MD
Sedrick J. Bradley, MD
Khandase B. Tate-Nero, MD
Katrice M. Brooks, MD
Kathia Smith, MD, MS
Ellana Stinson, MD, MPH
Bianca Islam, MD, PhD, MSc
Krystal Mitchell-Gba, MD, MBA
Cheron Perkins, MS1
Bianca Hall, DO
Jasmine Obioha, MD
Jennifer Gilbert, MD
Mariaah Williams, MD
Janelle Lee, MD
Christen Johnson, MD, MPH
Carmelita Taylor, MD, FAAP
Avery L. Nolen, MD
Steven Keglar, DDS
Melissa Locke, DO
Daniel Woolridge, MD
Melissa E. Chima, MS3
Nelson Adamson, MD
Melina Charles-Pierre, PharMD
Dolores King, MD
Dillon J.E. James, MS1
Christopher Riley, MD
Jeunice Owens-Walton, MS3
Osarieme Esene, MD
Erika Johnson, OD
Alyssa Lowder, PharMD
Sharian Glaze, DDS, PAC
Keisha Gibson, MD, MPH
Elizabeth M. Gomes, DO
Natalee Stone, MD
Damien Larkins, MD
Kia Grundy, MD
Folawiyo Babalola, MS4
Tahira J. West, MD
Jacquelyn Francis, MD
Jefferson Ebube, MS3
Yara V. Robertson, MD
Vanetta Levesque, MD
Linease Vega, MD
Amy S. Ross, MD
Carmen Kilpatrick, MD
Sanya Tinubu, MD
Nyarai Mushonga, MD, FACOG
Chino Aneke-Nash, MD, PhD
Keyonna M. Jenkins, MD
Mary Namugosa, MS2
Brittany Young, PharMD
Bianca Nesbeth, MD
James L. Carlisle, MD
ALexandra Onyejiaka, PharMD
Ebonie Vincent, DPM
Gabrielle Gear, MS4
Linda F. Korley, MD
Jasmine Ogundipe, MS3
J. Stallworth, DDS
Francis Agyemang, MS3
Esi Bentsi-Barnes, MD
Henry L. Greene, DO
Tiffany B., MD
Kerry-Ann V. Pinard, MD
Hope Mitchell, MD
Shylet Mukasa, PhD, MS3
Jacqueline Patterson, DDS
Nwayieze Chisara Ndukwe, MD, MPH
Sharonda Clark, MD
Ashanti E. Smith, MD, PharMD
Sharayne Mark Coffin, MD
Mary Cobb, DPM
Jean-Jacques Mbabuike, MD
Natasha Ramsey, MD, MPH
ChiChi Udochi, MD
Carey-Walter F. Closson, MD
Katelyn Butler, MS3
Melat Gebremichael, MD
Jessica Owaka, MS4
Justin Redding, PharMD
Talaya Clark, MD
Renee D. James, PharMD
Michele Hollis, MD
Stephen Richmond, MD
Melody Rurangirwa, MD
Chad Y. Lewis, MPH, MS4
Jamey Snell, MD
Robin Favor, MD
Denise Powell, MD
Milca A. Isaac, MD
Natalie Robiou, MD
Xena Whittier, MD
Ericka Stone, MD
Olaide O. Ajayi, MD
Lydia Keise, MD
Trenika J. Williams, MS3
Nia Adeniji, MS4
Jasmine Rogers, OMS1
Mariam Keita, DO
Sharel S. Sly, DDS
Kyzwana Caves, MD, FAAP, AAHIVS
Jasmine N. Wilson, DVM
Allie Henderson-Fitts, MD, MHA
Princess Mark-Adjeli, MD
Olivia G. Nathan, RPh, PharMD
Evelena Cousin-Peterson, MD
Kiarra King, MD
Akilah Grimes, MD
Denrick Cooper Jr., MD
Sheena Favors Williams, DO, MS
Dakota Lane, MD
Tracey K. Peatross, MD, FACOG
Jasmine Jackson, DVM
Faith Whittier, MD
Jacqueline K. Watson, MD
Paul Johnson, MD
Rim M Hadgu, PharMD
Eric Hawkins, DO
Krystal Green, MD
Sofanit Dessie, MD
Hassan Nur, DMD
Tedra Thomas, MD
Amber Nicole Marsh, MS4
Akilah Artis, DDS
Peace Nosa-Omorogiuwa, MS2
Nicole Sample-Harris, MD, MPH
Nancy N Emelife, MD
Tolu Ariyo Akinmade, MD
Chantelle S. Washington, DO
Inell C. Rosario, MD
Willie Landrum II, MD
Alden Landry, MD, MPH
Kenneth C. Reed, MD
Keisha Lowther, MD
Abigail R. O’Reggio, MD
Trevor Talbert, MD
Teri Brown, MD
Brittany Rogers, OD
Olufunke Bakare, MD
Janelle Townes, MD
Martin L. Campbell, MD
Benjamin E. Young II, MD
Joia Crear Perry, MD
Alicia D. Evans, MD
Martha Teke, MD
Aminata Traore, MS3
Monica Lee-Griffith, MD, MBA
Inieke Ikpe, MD
Jennifer David, DO
Jazmine Loman, DO
Ogechukwu Imonugo, DPM
Jennifer Stewart, MD
Olisa Okafor, DO
Monica N. Williams, DDS
Elena Gore, MD, MPH
Selamawi Mesfin, MD
Kemunto Mokaya, MD
Ruby Agoha, MD
Tolulope Rosanwo, MD
Courtney Wilson, DDS
Ebele Compean, MD
Reece McKenzie, MD
Temi Daramola, MS
Mack Bonner, MD, MPH, FACP
Nadlie Toussaint, MS4
Guylda Johnson, MD
Yejide Adewunmi, MS4
Ja’Nelle M. Blocker, MD
Ashlee-Marie Jones, MD
Alexandra Guillaume, MD
Endya Frye, MD
Kisha N. Davis, MD, MPH
Sangeetha Kolluri, DO, FACOS
Torrin Goodrum, PharMD
Victoria O. Ibukun, PharMD
Erica Paultre-Michael, DDS
Kathleen Bryan, OS1
Vickeima Sydney, MS3
Maxine Owusu, MD
Jovonsia McLeod Taylor, MD
Edjah K. Nduom, MD
Melissa Jackson, MD
Temeri Wilder-Kofie, DVM
DACLAM Tyree Winters, DO
Jasmine Bryant Skinner, MD
Jennae Shelby, MS3-PhD Candidate
Kiyanda Baldwin Young, MD
Omowunmi Ajibola, MD
Akua Owusu-Dommey, D2
Jamaeka Reid, MD
Leticia Dwomor, MD
Tanya Thomas, MS3
Luke Naman, MD
KaNisha L. Hall, MD
Raniece Trench, DVM
Nigenda Griffin, OD
Destiney Kirby, MS1
Benecia Williams, DO
Dionne Hart, MD
Lisa Richardson, MD, MSPH, FAAFP
Ejiofor Ezekwe, MD, PhD
Kemnasom Nwanwen, MD
Talia Johnson, DDS
Obichi Onwukwe, MS2
Trevor McKoy, MS
Ashley Inez Thrower, MD
Shadashalin Pierce, MS2
Fisayo Ogundele, PharMD
Eugenio Villarreal, MD
Omar Sanon, MS4
Whitney Lyn, MD
Asiya Tschannerl, MD, MPH, MSc
Caurice Wynter, MS, MS4
Liban Dinka, MS2
Myra L. Mathis, MD
Oluwatosin Adenuga, MD
G. Brandon Atkins MD, PhD
Christa-Bella Murengera, PharMD
Alexandra Haywood, DVM
Mamie Sarpoma Sefa-Boakye, MD
Olutoyin salami, MD
Matthew Smith, MD
Toni Otway, MD
Evelyn Nicole Mitchell, MD
Dennis Ologunro, MS1
Marthe Dika, MD
Zoe Paul, MD
Lisa Wallace, DDS
Eve Bloomgarden, MD
Angela Davis Brown, MD
Pamela A. Akametalu, MD
Nina Lum, MD
Amanda Donald, MD
Oluwadamilola Ilesanmi, MS1
Michelle Chambers, MD
Ayiti-Carmel Maharaj-Best, MD
Marjorie G. Michel, MD
Kevin Francois, MS2
Johnbosco Okpala, MD
Dana Parker, MD
Gabrielle James, MD
Melissa Cole, MD
Ayana Langston, MD, MS
LaKica Amos, DMD
Zalaya K. Ivy, MD, MS
Erwin Odongo, MS3
Paul Rollins, MD
Linnette Leticia Vásquez, DVM
Mashanda Campbell, MD
Paula Crawford-Harris, MD, MPH
Yetunde Ibrahim, MD
Jade Anderson, MD
Willie D. Taylor Jr., DVM
Anastasia N. Orakwue, DDS, MHS
Jennifer Tran, MD, FRCPC, DABD
Tochi Unegbu-Ogbonna, MS3
Shanique Martin, MD
Alex Williams, MD
Victoria Cohen, DO
Deawodi Ladzekpo, MD
Jasmine Heard, DO
Erinma Ukoha, MD, MPH
Bethany D. Bonner, PharMD
Robin Vidal, PharMD
Adrienne N. Cobb, MD, MS
Sarah Blackwell, DVM
Claire Elpenord, MD
Carl Earl Lambert, Jr., MD, FAAFP
Daphne Mlachila, MD
Tequilla Manning, MD, DIMPH
Mica Winchester, MD
Dacia Murdock, MD
Ndidi Unaka, MD, MEd
Lauren Bacon, MD
Miesty Woodburn, MD
Esi Rhett, MD
Tasha W, MS3
Cameron Gilliard, MD
Kiandra Scott, MD
Stephanie Scott, MD, MPH
Sahlia K. Joseph-Pauline, DO
Jamila Holston, OMS4
Temeka Zore, MD
Tiara Aldridge, MD
Nastassia Brown, DPM
Paschal Ike, MD, MHSA
Whitney White, MD
Adaugo Ike, MD
Michelle Green, MD
Jessica Paulin, PharMD
Sonya Shipley, MD, FAAFP
Sula Mazimba, MD
Cassandra Harewood, MD
Wilbert L. Jones, MD
Fidelis Ojevwe, MD, PharMD
Raleke O. Adibe, DO
Maya M. Green, MD
Yolanda Lewis-Ragland, MD, FAAP
Joycelyn Akamune, MD, MPH
Melissa G. Kress, DO
Gregory Daggett Jr., DVM
Erica Lowery, MD
Terri Lynn Major-Kincade, MD, MPH
Elizabeth De Jesus, MS4
Jazmine Elleston, MS3
Joseph Iluore, MD
Chrystal Nelson, MS3
Vikisha Fripp, MD, FACS
Fri Awasum, MD
Ashley Bettts, DVM
Keva Gwin, PharMD
Shannon Crane, MD
Deonna R. Reese-White, MS4
L. Bumpus, DDS
Crystal Nnenne Azu, MD, MPH
Charles G. Grant III, MD
Morgan P. Bryant, MS4
Nyema Woart, DO
Ayisha Edwards, MD
Adeola Awodele, MD
Asmerom Adhanom, DO
Erin Jones, MD
Ozioma Nwaigwe, MD
Jessica Brown, MD
Stephanie Burchett, MD
Serena Mitchual, DDS, MS
Angela Gantt Holliday, MD
Rosalind Usher, MD
Hana Ai, MD
Barrie Bedasee, MPH, MS2
Victoria Clark, MD
Angenette Rashad, MD
Steeve Pierre, MD, MSc
Daniel Enwere, MD
Ashanti Dunmeyer, MD
Esther Adeyemi, MS3
Jordan Jackson, MS2
Kelli Hunter, MD
Mausumi Lidogoster, MD
Shamik Shah, MS2
Tyler Rainer, MD
LaShondra Washington Gadson, MD, DFAPA
Desiree N. DiBella, MD
Jasmine S. Holmes, MS4
Simone Tomlinson, DVM
Joi Rogers, MD
Heather Skanes-DeVold, MD
Emma Wallace, MD, PhD
Elem Onyike, MD
MaryBeth Asenime, DC
Cashawna Parker, PharMD
Tarah Celestin, MS
Renee Bovelle, MD
Lauren Sheard, MD, MPH
Brittany Oliver, MD
Donna M. Neale, MD
Mignote Yilma, MD
Jason Hobbs, DMD
Dami Babaniji, MD
Jennifer L. Lapeyrolerie, MD, FACOG
Aleta Paschal, MD
Cynthia R. Hill, MD
Stephanie A. Owusu, MD, MHS
Jenais Miller, MD
Nejat Naser, MD
Eric Hawkins, DO
Rochelle Robicheaux Metoyer, MD
Toni-Marie Chandler, MD
Oluwatoyjn Weaver, MD
Alison Tam, DO, FAOCD, FAAD
Christopher M. Jenkins, MD
Leah Kanner, DMD
Kayla Steele, MD
Chibuokem Ikwuazom, MS4
Tonee Sumlin, MD
Corey Shy, MD
Patience Green, MD
Helene Okpere, MD
Cassandra Bradby, MD
Lena Amanquah, DO
LaToya R. Walker, MD
Onyi Uchime, MD, PhD
Assabi Isaac, DDS
DaShawn Hickman, MD, PhD
Hanna Beruke, MD
Ijeoma Okwandu, MD, MPH
Monica Turner, MD
Jessica Stewart, MD

Raymond H Lewis, Jr., MD
Tamika M. Carter, DO
Khalil Carter, MD, MPH, FACOG
Aylia Doomes, MS
Bethanie White, MD
Beverly Whittenberg, MD
Karen Francois, MD
Michael Nwaneri, MBBS, MD
Ashley Pierce, MD
Fatimah Audu, MD
Shelah Fields, MS, OMS3
Tennessee Bailey, MD
Colette El-Amin, DVM
Morgen Owens, MS4
Kimberly McGill, MD
Chimdimma Nwobi, MS3
Alana Thompson-Byrd, MD
Joel L. Boyd, MD
Shantele Bolton, MD
Gatebe Kironji, MD, MPH
Kashiti Long, MD
Corey K. Smith, MD
Alexis Etheridge, MS2
Ashley A. Mackey, MD
Tajh Ferguson, MD
Owen Amadasun, MD, MBA
Lynne J. Lightfoote, MD
Lemnique Wafer, DVM, DACLAM
Alisha Akinsete, MD
Kendra Atkinson, MD
Kristen D. Scatliffe, MD
Camille Moore, MD
Aanuoluwa Abiola, MD
StarKayla Lewis, MS2
Melissa Davis, MD, MBA
Selamawiet Belay, DO
Uzo Okoro, MD, MSc
Maria Uloko, MD
Tronya Hawkins, MD
Ian Bailey, MD
Carmen Robinson, MD
Abdel-Karim Brown, MS3
April Timberlake, MD
Jacquin A. Coombs, MD, FACOG
Aurielle Fanning, MD
Elaine Rodríguez, MD, MPH
Vashali Bhargava, MD
Tametra Johnson Garnier, MD
George C. Ozoude, MD
Anastasia A. Hunt, MD
Shavonne Collins, MD
Ashley Wynn, PharMD
Shannon E. Pringle, MD
Glad Nwaozo, MS3
Louise Wade, DVM
Melissa Cadet Evans, MD
Tyiesha Brown, MD
Damico Johnson, MD
Jordan Knox, MD
Kajanna McKenzie, MS4
Chinyere M. Nwosu, DO
Ijeoma C. Unachukwu, MS3
Kevin L. Allen Jr., MD
Devon McKenzie, MD
Louisa Appiah, MS3
Natalie L. M. Ramsey, PhD, MS4
Amber Shelton, MS3
Demi I.F. Lewis, MS2
Jacqueline C. Hairston, MD
Temitope Orenuga, MD, MPH
Arthurine Zakama, MD
Paul M. Osunwa Jr., MS4
JaCiara D. Johnson, DVM
Gregory S. Poindexter, DDS
Howard W. Sterling, MD
Kyshari D. McCullough, MS4
Andrew S. Alexander, MD
Damilola Idowu, MD
Tracie Calloway Lawson, DO
Danielle Jackson, OD
Maria Small, MD, MPH
Sadiat Olatunbosun, MD
Sara Hogan, MD
Dori M. Russ, MD, JD
Kayla Johnson, MD, MPH
Theodore R. Harper III, MD
Sekani J. Allen, MD, MS
Megan Anderson, DVM
Miracle C. Anokwute, MD
Jonathon Seawright, MD
Folake Lawal, MD
Jobren Dingle, DMD
Alyssa Newton, MD
Lauren Smith, MD
Vanessa Ozomaro Jeffries, MD
Aisha C. Noble, MD
MaryBeth Asenime, DC
Meggan DeVeaux, MD
Crystal Wiley Cene, MD, MPH
Erika Russell, DO
Edith Antonio, MS2
Renee Cowan, MD
L Yvette Robinson, MD, MPH
Alexandria Robinson, PharMD
James Fullwood, DPM
Nataki Hollingsworth, MD
Danté Brown, DMD, MPH
Angela Bell, MD
Linda L. McIntire, MD
Alisha Rockette, MD
Martha Tesfalul, MD
Albert Sey, MD
Alexandra-Elise Dakaud, MS4
Jason Browne, MD
Pamela Brug, MD
Laquisha Cartwright, PharmD, BCPS
Lynnette Leffall, DO
Rachel Nation, MPH, MS3
Jessica Scott, MD, MS
Gillian O. Noel, MD, MSCS
Saskya Etienne, MS4
Chima Ohadugha, MD, MPH
Loren Walwyn-Tross, MD
Lynn Newman, MD
Erin Jones, MD
Jasmine Forte, MD
Sharon Harris-Baugh, MD
Ritchie Ambroise, MD
Brandy S. Woods, MS1
Barron A. Banks, DDS, MDiv
Lindsey Stewart, MD
Ronald Dean Sutton Jr., MD
Echo P. Buffalo, MS3
Olasupo Adedapo, MD
Nana Mensa, MD
Alexandra Power-Hays, MD
Andre Harris Sr., MD
Natasha Nichols, MD
Leigh Jackson, MD
Ashley E. Vincent, MS3
Chinyere Egbuta, MD
Olasupo Adedapo, MD
La Tanya R. Hines, MD, FACOG
Sheila Hernandez, MD
Nancy Rivera, MD
Charlene Jones, MD
Taisha S. Williams, MD
Adebayo Fasanya, MD
Briana DeCuir, MD
Etuajie Oiyemhonlan Halbert, DO, MS
Amber M. Hunter, OMS2
Yorel Hickerson, MD
Alexandra Fayne, MD
Tia Joyce, D4
Franklin C. Mikell, MD
Wanda Williams, MD, MS
Nikki Sistrun, MD
Diane Thomas, MD
Shawn Davis, MD, MPH
Chiadika Nwanze, MS4
Lorelle E. Bradley, MD
Angela H. Coleman, MD
Jamesha Lewis Bryant, DO
Erika L. Rager, MD, MPH
Jessica Alford, DDS
Kandyce Pearson, PharmD, MSPH
Chisom Iwueke, MD
Christian A. Fauria-Robinson, MD
Carmesha Jordan, MS4
Lenorre Clarke, MD, MPP
Michelle Roberts-Borden, MD
Stevie Jones Jr., DVM
Matthew Johnson, MD
Nneamaka Ukatu, MD
Mechelle Moragne, MD, PhD
Taniesha Buffin, MD
Katrina Schuler, DDS
Star Tiko, MD, MPH
Nadège T. Fackche, MD
Torie Comeaux Plowden, MD, MPH
Yasmin Uzamere, MD
Lenora B.S. Williams, MD
Chukwuebuka Udokwu, MD
Lisa Upshaw, MSAC
Jontel Pierce, MD
Whitney White, DMD
Sherise Rogers, MD, MPH
Sharis Steib, MD
Adriana Suarez-Ligon, MD
Shannon F.R. Small, MD
Mellany Stanislaus, MD
Kerry-Anne Perkins, DO
Ronnye D. Purvis, MD
Mallory Hubbard-Whitley, MD
Lola Adebiyi, MS4
Barra Madden, MS3
Myla Pereira, MS1
Dianah T. Lake, MD
Antionette Cass, MS2
Marcus Jean, DDS
Shirlene Obuobi, MD
Deja Rose, MD
Love Anani, MD
Onyekachi Nwosu, PharMD
Odinaka Anyanwu, MD
Andria Danielle Matthews, MD
Alexandria Nykole Griddine, MD
Lynda E. Mbah, MD
Crystal K. Anyiam, PharMD
Tommeka Archinard, MD, MBA, FACEP
LaTaura Atwell-Small, MD
Maame Wireku, PharMD
Larissa Fomum Mugri, MPH, MS4
Alyssa Gerth, DO
Tessa Haspil-Corgan, MD, FACEP
Cornel T. Rogers, MD
Ugo A. Okoli, PharMD
Janine D. Grayson, MD, MPH
Kayla Williams, MD
Jasmine D. Johnson, MD
Ifeanyichukwu Ogobuiro, MD, MHS
Joelle Makon, MD
Iddy Kennedy, PharMD
Mazeed Aro-Lambo, MS2
Mofiyin Obadina, MD
Kamille Williams, MD
Taylor Ringgold, DDS
Kayla Holston, MS2, MPH
Ellana Stinson, MD, MPH
April Walker, PharMD
Timothy H. King, MD, MS
Jeaneen Chappell, MD
Ivo Oben Besong Mangeb, MD
Awa Sanneh, MD
Precious Okunbor, MD
Esther Oluwabukola Akindayomi, MD
Elliana Gianacopoulos, MS2
Danielle Ward, DO, MS
Jessica Shepherd MD, MBA, FACOG
Tere M. Williams, PhD
Candidate Kara Malone, MD
Sade D. Frazier, DO, MS
Oluwatobi Ariyo, DO
Imani McElroy, MD
Gabrielle Jean-Baptiste, MS3
Jamira T. Jones, MD
Lynette Lester, MS4
Adolphia Lauture, MD
Supriya Sehgal, MD
Sharee Livingston-Anderson, DO
Rachel Johnson, MD
Tiffany Richards, MD
Carla Cork, DO, MAT
Andrea White, MD
Ololade Ogundele, MD
Shawndra Washington, PharMD
Osemwengie Enabulele, MS4
Abdulkareem Agunbiade, MD
Ashley Y. Williams, MD
Marian A. Sampson, MD, FACOG
Ndang N. Azang-Njaah, MD, MPH
Amanda Ocran, MD
Ajayi Scott-Robinson, MS3
Adeola Oni-Orisan, MD, PhD
Carolyn Cook, MS3
Uzoh E. Ikpeama, MD
Kristen Bishop, MD
Jasmine S. Woods, PharMD
Abena Apraku, MD
Roshawnda Brown, MD
LeRanna Hatcher, MD
Zeke J. McKinney, MD, MHI, MPH, FACOEM
Alison Bell, DPM
Yolanda Markley, DVM
Caitlyn Johnson, MS-2
Jaime C. Thony, DDS
Jo’Ann Jackson, MD
Beverly Aiyanyor, MD
Rachael Dean, MD
Janeiro Achibiri, MD
Oluwamuye Akinbote, MD
Caroline Levine, MD
Nneoma O. Onyedimma, MS4
Johanny Lopez Dominguez, MS
Shanique Wilson, MD
DeAna Augustus, PharMD
Onika A. Popo-James, DO
Chioma Ezenduka, PharMD
Eno Oshin, MD
Terrill C. Turner Jr., MS4
Destini A. Smith, MD
Messan D Folivi, MD, MHS
Tiffany Russ, DO, MS
Sommer Gripper, MD
Edwin McDonald, MD
Misha Armstrong, MD, MPH
Beatrice Whitaker, MD
Oludamilola A. Aladesanmi, MD, MPH
Laura J. Quint, MD
Erica Joseph, MD
Ebony Caldwell, MD, MPH
Joshua J. Montgomery, MPH
Tori Robinson, MD
Betel Yibrehu, MD
Omonigho Ekhomu, MD
Mia Singleton Ben, MD
Vanica Guignard, MD
Adrianna Browne, MD
Brittney M. Richardson, MD, CAQSM
Ciana Maxwell, MD
Camille Imbo, MD
Liset Falcon, MS1
Pamela Lacy, MD, FACOG Ijeoma Opara, MD
Tiffany Scott, MD
Kendrick Law, MD
Laureano Andrade Vicenty, MS4
Chioma Ojiaku, DO
Yemisi Adejumo, MD
Keia V. Faison, MD
Renee Mickens, PharMD
Shanika D. Rutledge, MD
Kristen Medley, MS4
Gia N. Garrett, MD
Gashaw Adugna Dadi, MD
Rasheeda Monroe, MD
Joelle Jean-Jacques, OD
Ariba Khan, MD, MPH
Trevor Bailey, DO
Claudine Nwadiozor, OMS1
Destiny Kellam, MS3
Tracie Collins, MD
William E. Norris, MD, FACG
Malcolm Chelliah, MD
Cortney Cabell, MD
Jessica Bedele, OMS3
Chinedu Diokpa, PharMD
Keyanna Jackson, MS1
Lauren Tucker, MD
Giresse Melone, MS4
Olga Diaz, MD
Charis N. Chambers, MD
Karl Mereus, PharmD, MS
Kelli Outlaw, MD
Ruthline Myers, PharMD
Kristy Whyte, MD
Lawrence Self, Jr, MS2
Adia Stokes, MD
Sonja Thompson, PharMD
Michael Kongnyuy, MD
Michael I. Anyanwu, OMS1
Sherrette B. Shaw Fontenot, MD
Frederick Okoye III, MS3
Ayodeji J. Omosule, MD
Woodly Dominique, MS1
Erica L. Smith, PharMD
Modupe Oladele, MD
Annika Barnett, MD
Nicholé D. Liggins, MD
Kristy L. Cromblin, MD
Tekiyah A. Shabazz, MS3
Nche Zama, MD, PhD
Nikki Graves, MD
Brielle Miles, MS3
Kolade M. Agboola, MD
Shanice A. McKenzie, MD
Charles Harris III, MD
Zoe A. Stallings, MD
Eunice Saint-Victor, MS3
Amber L. Glenn, MD
Kamille Brown, MD
Jillian Diuguid-Gerber, MD
Shekinah N. C. Elmore, MD, MPH
Deneshia McIntosh, MD, PhD
Stephanie Garrison, MD
Ifeoma Kamalu, MS Aja’ E Pollard, MD
Olasupo Adedapo, MD
Olamide Adedeji Alakija, MD
Sylvia Cardounell, MD
RonalDO Nuesi, MS4
Claudia Nkeih, DO
Nicole Christian Brathwaite, MD
Rochelle Goring, MD
Sandria T. Vernon, MD, MPH
Kendrick V. Kennedy, MD
Bethlehem Belachew, MD
Adeoti Oshinowo, MD
Corey D. Boggs, MS4
Veronica Andrews, MD
Ulysses Gardner, MS4
Sara Balla, MS4
Aquila Ingram, PharMD
Toiya Turknett, MD
Shalisa Garner, DDS
Oluwatosin Onibokun, MD
Candace Grisham, MS1
Juliana N. Anyanwu, MD, MPH
Irving M. Allen, MD
Jamecia L. Finnie, MS, MD
Brianna Ennis, MD
Kali Hobson, MD
Larissa AssamLari, MD, MPH
Jeffanne Millien, MD
Kristen Solomon, MD
Oluwatoyin Weaver, MD
Shaquana Y. Clark, MD
Jovans Lorquet, MD
Ima M. Ebong, MD
Danielle Robinson, MD
Ocheowelle Okeke, MD
Christina Council, MD
Ngafla Bakayoko, MS2
Vonne Jones, MD, FACOG
Nathanaelle Ibeziako, MA, MS4
Donna L. Kiel, MD
Chinwe Sonia Kpaduwa, MD
Karri E Hester, MD
Charnise Taylor, MS3
Olivia Nwankwo, MD
Lesley L. Williams, MD
Elicia L. Harris, MD
LeAnn Louis, MS4
Uzoamaka Agubokwu, MD
Alexandra Campbell, MD
Beth-Ann Ollivierre-Baptiste, MD
Chelsea Wilson, DMD
Maureen W. Kimani, MD
Elesa Yihdego, OMS4
Stanitia W. Davis, DPM
Ophelia Garmon-Brown, MD, MDiv
Wilnise Jasmin, MD, MBA, MPH
Priscilla Clark, MD
Chioma Unegbu-Ogbonna, MD
Kimiko J. Moore, MD
Timothy S. Frazier, MD
Saudia McCarley, MD
Jada McMahon, MS1
Beryl Kalul, MD
Cassandre Perard, DO, MS
Erkeda DeRouen, MD
Farah McCorvey-Lofton, MD
Jimmy Berthaud, MD, MPH
Tiffany E. Hardaway, MD, MS
Jovans Lorquet, MD
Margia Ambroise, MD
Tamika Webb-Detiege, MD
Sanlaré C. Gordon, DO
Mario David Felix, MD
Ayanna C. Bradshaw-Sydnor, DDS, MPH
Kehinde Idowu, MD
Richalle Sullivan, MD
Rochelle Arbuah-Aning, MD
Daniel Ortiz, MD
Circe Lassegue, DDS
Maria Rodriguez, OMS-1
Juana Hutchinson-Colas, MD
Ciera D. P. Williams, PharmD, RPh
Nicole Woodson-DeFauw, MD
Lindsay Smith, DDS
Edna Buckle, DDS, OMFS
Ash Patel, DO, OMS1
Olusimidele Ayeni, MD, PhD
Hilary E. Toole, MD
Angela Renee Ingram, MD
Dwan Mabry, MD
Italo M. Brown, MD, MPH
Aiesha S. Hill, DPM
Pierre Detiege, MD
Brittney Morning, MS3
Robin Jacquet-Williams, MD
Corliss J. Furbert, DDS, MPH
Clifford Adam Jr., MS1
Patrick I. Emelife, MD
Duran Mitchell, MD
Jordan Jackson, MS2
Nia Bodrick MPH, MD
Ericka Scott, MS2
Apryl Mensah, MD
Haley Cabiness, MD
Bridgette Jones, MD
Hawwa Alao, MD
Obehi Asemota, MD
Yewande Samuel, PharMD
Susan M. Heineck, MD
Princess Ogidi, MD, MS2
DiAnne Davis, MD
Christel Wekon-Kemeni, MD
Soyini Hawkins, MD, MPH, FACOG
Russell J. Ledet, PhD, MS3
Angela M. Davis, DDS
Kiara Cribb, PharMD
Allanda Williams, DO
Omoye Blue, MD
Stéphanie Thomas, DDS
Letticia Guzman, PharMD
Myschelle Jones, MS3
Tasnim Hussein, MS3
Jillene Brathwaite, DO
Kayla S. Harris, PharMD
Ola Otulana, DO
Ugochukwu N. Udogwu, MD
Cassandra Pierre, MD, MSc
Alexis Irby, DMD
Samantha Etienne, MD
Sandy Dorcelus, DO
Tekira Hypolite, DMD
Whitney Morgan, MD
Crystal L. Parks, DO
Mariam Keita, DO
Chioma Nwonu, OMS2
Mana Kasongo, MD, MS
Faryka Rogers, DVM
Georgia Davies, MD
Adebayo Adunbarin, DO
Ronnie Otieno, OMS IV
Raleke O Adibe, DO
Keri-Lee A. Garel, MD
Fayola Edwards-Ojeba, MD
Sidney Owen, MS
S. Willis, DDS
Brianna M. Johnson, MS4
Crystal Johnson, MPH, DVM, DACLAM
Judy L Greene, MD
Nicholas Scoulios, MD
Samantha A. McIntosh, MD
Ife Anachebe, PharMD
Kristin J. Williams, MS4
Marshala R. Lee, MD, MPH
Ondreia J. Hunt, MD
Kristen Gumbs, DVM
StarKayla Lewis, MS2
Alexander Williams Jr., PharMD
Kelsey Murry, OMS4
Ceazón T. Edwards, MD
Oluwamuyiwa Awodiya, MS3
Jennifer Anderson, MS, OD
Angela B. Koomson, MS1
Ucheoma Nwaogwugwu, MD
Coty Tunwar, PharMD
Chidinma Nwakanma, MD
Dawn Kamilah Brown, MD
Chimdiya Onwukwe, G1
Charles P Williams, MD
Sarada Abraham, MD
Beteal Ashinne, MD, MPH
Alyssa B Watkins, MD
Ives A. Valenzuela, MD
Sasha Ray, MD
Brijae Chavarria, MD, MA
Richard Cook, MD
Joan K. Marc, MD
Yejide Adewunmi, DO
Prisca Kbe, MD
Melina Y. Zuniga, MD
Crystal A. Beal, PharMD
Denise McCormack, MD, MPH

Black Neurosurgeons Statement

Statement by Black Neurosurgeons

To our Patients, Colleagues, and the Global Community at Large,

Most recently, in the setting of continued efforts to respond to COVID-19 as a widespread and global pandemic, the nation has been rocked by the brutal murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by a White police officer in the audience of the public and other police officers representing the Minneapolis Police Department. Our hearts and minds are also heavy with thoughts of those who have recently lost their lives, like Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, who are part of a long list dating back to and before the murders of Michael Brown in 2014 and Eric Garner in 2016. The cries of outrage reflected in the most recent days of protest and unrest reflect another insidious pandemic of grave public health consequence we have yet to curtail or respond to as a society at large.

Speaking as Black constituents within the field of neurosurgery, we are in the unique position to speak up and against cyclical and imminent public health threats to the Black community, fiercely and persistently. We are adding our voices in solidarity with medical institutions like the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), National Medical Association (NMA), American Medical Association (AMA), and American Heart Association (AHA), that assert excessive use of police force and violence is a public health issue.

We, as neuroscientists and surgeons, see firsthand the effects of neurotrauma on those subjected to violence at especially alarming rates in the Black community. Blunt and penetrating trauma to the brain and spine may result in hemorrhage, stroke, or both; disabling spinal fractures and dislocation; and, in some cases recurrent surgical procedures resulting in prolonged hospital stays and extended rehabilitation. For those who do not face death at the initial encounter, they face disability, often long-term. This heightens economic insecurity – taking them out of a workforce in which they are already battling unemployment or underemployment at disproportionate rates. Ultimately, this widens the socioeconomic gap, increases the number of those uninsured in the Black community, and compounds the lack of access to adequate and complete healthcare.

Moreover, there are intangible neuropsychological effects stemming from fearing for one’s life on a daily basis, mourning the sudden and inexplicable loss of a loved one to such violence, or simply being a Black person facing perennial reminders that we are not welcome in some parts of a society that has given us a conditionally approved position at best and a permanent second class citizen rank at worst. This intangible mental anxiety and stress invariably exacerbates underlying pathology. As a result, there is a demonstrable increase in preventable conditions, such as ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, and a negative effect on the management, treatment, and outcome of other neurosurgical disorders.

As neurosurgeons and as public servants, we hold ourselves accountable – individually and collectively – to provide services upholding the standard of care we pledged to in our profession. Every patient has the right to receive that level of care no matter what surgeon they encounter or what bias that surgeon may have. This binding and reasonable contract in its simplest form is what is being asked of law enforcement today. We submit this statement as a promise to find and support actionable items that guarantee the march toward the arc of equality and accountability in how Black people are policed.

There is a slow but inevitable erosion of the state of health amongst Black people as a result of the aforementioned numerous struggles we encounter doggedly and simultaneously. This has culminated in a public health crisis shortening not only the lives of too many too early but diminishing the quality of life of those who remain to bear it.

In Solidarity,

Organizers

Nnenna Mbabuike, MD

William W. Ashley, Jr., MD, Ph.D., M.B.A., FAANS 

Edjah K. Nduom, MD, FAANS

Correspondence can be sent to: amsobns@gmail.com  

Contributors

Aaron Palmer MD
Adedamola Adepoju MD
Akwasi Ofori Boah, MD
Alexander Oderhowho MD
Arnett Klugh III MD, FAANS
Arnold Etame MD, PhD, FAANS
Arnold Obungu MD
Ayobami Ward, MD
Babu G. Welch, MD, FAANS
Bethwel Raore, MD, FAANS
Bradley Stephens, MD, MPH
Brenton Pennicooke, MD, MS
Byron Hills, MD
Chine Sp. Logan, DO, MS, MHA, FACS.
Clifford Pierre, MD
Danielle Terrell, MD, MPH
Dare Adewumi MD
David A. Paul, MD, MS
David Dadey, MD, PhD
David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD, FAANS
Desmond A. Brown, MD, PhD
Dominique Higgins, MD,PhD
Edwin Kulubya MD
Efrem M. Cox, MD
Emun Abdu MD, FAANS
Ernest J. Barthélemy MD, MA, MPH

Fatu S. Conteh, MD
Gabriel E. Hunt, Jr., MD, FAANS
H. Westley Phillips, MD
Hudin N. Jackson, MD
Ian T. McNeil, MD, MS
Idara Edem MD, M.Sc, FRCSC
Jean Louis Benae MD, FAANS, FICS
Jihad Abdelgadir, MD, MSc
John Berry-Candelario, MD
Jos’lyn Woodard, MD, MAT
Joshua A. Spear, MD
Kaine Onwuzulike, MD, PhD, FACS
Kendrick Johnson, MD
Kenneth L. Hill Jr., MD, FAANS
Keyne Johnson, MD, FAANS
Kingsley Abode-Iyamah, MD
Langston Holly, MD
Larry R. Shannon II, MD, FAANS
Lindsey Ross, MD
Louis Nkrumah, MD, PhD
Marcus Gates, MD
Marcus L. Ware, MD, PhD, FAANS
Mark Attiah MD, MS, MPH
Matthew N. Anderson, MD
Michael Opoku-Darko MD, MSc.
Miracle C Anokwute, MD

Nancy Abu-Bonsrah, MD
Nduka Amankulor, MD, FAANS
Nelson M Oyesiku, MD, PhD, FACS
Olabisi Sanusi, MD
Olaide O Ajayi, MD
Oludotun O. Ogunsola MD, M.P.H
Oluwaseun O. Akinduro MD
Oluwaseun Omofoye, MD, M.S.
Owoicho Adogwa MD, MPH
Remi Wilson, MD
Rory Goodwin, MD, PhD
Saint-Aaron Morris, MD
Samuel K. Asante, MD
Sandea Greene-Harris, MD, FAANS
Shawn Hervey-Jumper, MD
Sherise Ferguson, MD
Solomon M Ondoma, MD
Sonia V Eden, MD
Stephen E. Griffith, MD, FAANS
Tiffany Hodges, MD
Travis CreveCoeur, MD
Venita Simpson, MD
Wesley King, MD, FAANS
William Humphries MD, MPH
William T. Curry, Jr., MD
Yaw Sarpong MD, MBA
Yusef I. Mosley MD

Medical Organizations Against Police Brutality

Medical Organizations Standing Against Police Brutality

As the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us toward social distancing, the injustices in our criminal justice system still continue. In the wake of the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, it is critical that we raise our voices against racism and police brutality — even, and especially, under the current circumstances.
Below are the various medical organizations that have responded to these deaths and the recent protests with statements standing against police brutality. PfCJR offers support to these organizations, and hopes to collaborate with them in combating the racism and violence present in our justice system. 

Click to Find Your Organization Here:

ACCREDITATION COUNCIL FOR GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION

“We have seen the young people of our nation – black, brown, and white – speak out against the scourge of racism in America. They call us all to respond as people, and we as physicians bear a special responsibility to respond. It is our collective duty to advocate for all our patients, and to care equally and equitably for all our patients, even as we care about our patients.

We must use the support and appreciation the public has provided us due to the heroic altruistic work we have seen in health care across our nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We must leverage that heightened social standing to speak out on behalf of everyone, promote equity and fairness, and demand justice in all its forms, especially in the provision of health care to all who require it. As an organization, all of us at the ACGME pledge to use our experience and wisdom to work with the GME community to help, however we are able, to heal the nation after this time of tremendous grief and anxiety.”

> READ FULL STATEMENT 

ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN MEDICAL COLLEGES

June 1, 2020: “For too long, racism has been an ugly, destructive mark on America’s soul. Throughout our country’s history, racism has affected every aspect of our collective national life—from education to opportunity, personal safety to community stability, to the health of people in our cities large and small, and in rural America. 

The AAMC stands against racism and hate in all its forms, and we call on academic medicine to stand together on this issue. We are committed to harnessing all of our resources to catalyze meaningful and lasting solutions. We can no longer be bystanders. We must not be silent. But while our solidarity is necessary, it is not sufficient. Together, and in partnership with the communities we serve, we must work together to heal our nation.”

> READ FULL STATEMENT 

ASSOCIATION OF ACADEMIC PHYSIATRISTS

Black lives matter. Now more than ever, our collective actions are important to effect change. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others before them, have shone a light on centuries of injustice faced by the Black community in America. Acts of racism, violence and hate are unacceptable and must not be tolerated. The AAP stands against racism and discrimination, and our core values include the basic principles of human rights, justice, and dignity. 

We know that these words alone are not enough. In addition, although diversity, inclusion and equality have been among our guiding principles, re-affirmations of our actions and ongoing commitments are both essential. The AAP’s Board of Trustees has worked with AAP staff to expand and re-affirm our commitments, develop action items, and formalize our commitments to our membership. We hope that these important steps, as outlined below, help foster diversity, equity and inclusion in our association, the field of physiatry, the healthcare system, and society as a whole. 

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ASSOCIATION FOR ACADEMIC PSYCHIATRY

The recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are a tragic reminder of the systemic racism and violence that people of color have suffered for centuries, and what has been ignored for far too long. As a community of academic psychiatrists, it is our duty as physicians to combat structural racism and the subsequent inequities in health care delivery and outcomes. As psychiatrists, we must address the trauma caused by racism and discrimination, and their adverse effects on mental health and well-being. We must incorporate these topics into our curricula, listen to our trainees and colleagues of color, and speak out against racist actions, attitudes, and biases. As academicians, we must educate our leaders, colleagues, and students about the detrimental effects of racism, and provide solutions on how to eliminate this “cancer” in our society.

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ASSOCIATION FOR ACADEMIC SURGERY

“On May 25, 2020, Mr. George Floyd lost his life in an unimaginable way. This event and so many others continue to highlight the ongoing and longstanding racial injustices across our nation and has left many of us feeling sad, angry, and unsure of how to move forward. “I can’t breathe!” is a call to action. Unraveling racism requires investment from all of us, not just minorities, and the Association for Academic Surgery is committed to doing this work. We hope our members will bring their voices to the conversation, as we work together to develop solutions and pledge to be a part of the change that is long overdue. For our members of color, who encounter and suffer racial inequities either inside or outside the hospital, please know we see you, we support you, and the AAS is here for you.”

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ASSOCIATION OF DIRECTORS OF MEDICAL STUDENT EDUCATION IN PSYCHIATRY

“The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and the disproportionate toll that Covid-19 is wreaking on black communities have shone a light on our nation’s failings on issues of racial justice. ADMSEP Council joins with its members in condemning this racism that threatens the safety and well-being of people of color across the country, including our members, our students and the patients we serve.

As psychiatric educators training the doctors of tomorrow, we must incorporate the concepts of racism and other social determinants of health into our curricula. We must redouble our efforts to make our students aware of the deleterious effects of trauma, including racial trauma, and therapeutic approaches. We must ensure that we listen to the voices of our colleagues and students of color, stand with them in the fight against racism and support their career development. We must make ourselves aware of our own unconscious biases and recognize and address any mistreatment, including microaggressions (a coin termed by Black psychiatrist Chester Pierce), that we perpetrate or witness.”

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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE

“In the wake of the latest police killing of an African American man in Minneapolis, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) joins those calling for reforms on the use of deadly force by law enforcement, the review of discriminatory practices, and justice for those whose lives have been taken as a result of racism targeting people of color.

In the loudest and strongest possible terms, we condemn these needless killings. Systemic racism and oppression targeting people of color must be addressed. The time is now; it is long overdue. AAEM and SAEM pledges, with a renewed sense of purpose, to champion equitable care for everyone in America, to train up just and compassionate emergency care providers, and to fight for a society that condemns racism and cherishes our rich diversity.”

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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS

“The American Academy of Family Physicians is deeply concerned about the prevalence of discriminatory and racist acts that are resulting in the unwarranted deaths and marginalization of people of color. Family physicians across the nation are grieving with and for their communities, and we join with our members in speaking out against all forms of institutional racism. What is happening in our communities today, and what has been happening in our country for decades, is unacceptable.

As a health care organization, the AAFP considers racism a public health crisis. It is incumbent upon all of us to engage in an honest discussion about how to ensure that health outcomes and personal safety are not determined by the color of a person’s skin.”

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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPHTHALMOLOGY

In the past week, Americans engaged in peaceful protests have been blinded by the use of rubber bullets fired at the face.   

While classified as non-lethal, they are not non-blinding. These life-altering eye injuries are a common result of urban warfare, rioting and crowd dispersion. We have seen it around the world, and we now see it in the United States.  

Following numerous serious injuries in the past two weeks, the American Academy of Ophthalmology calls on domestic law enforcement officials to immediately end the use of rubber bullets to control or disperse crowds of protesters. The Academy asks physicians, public health officials and the public to condemn this practice.”

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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY

“AAGP profoundly respects the essential worth of all individual people and cultures. Diversity, equality, and inclusion are core principles of AAGP. AAGP has worked hard to incorporate these values in all the work we do – in our leadership teams, our advocacy efforts, our residencies, and fellowships, and in the care we provide to the patients, families, and communities that we serve. The Black community is disproportionately affected by illness, lack of healthcare access, mortality, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic has been no different, as Black community members are again at higher risk of dying than many others in the United States. Living in fear of discrimination and violence directed towards them can have profound effects on mental health. This fear is part of a much broader reality that places all people of color at disproportionate risk for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, substance use disorders, and more. As an organization concerned with the mental health of all older people, we cannot and will not ignore this reality.”

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AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION

“When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.

Too many breaths have been lost – from George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many more. The American Lung Association denounces all forms of institutional racism and acts of racial violence. What is happening in our communities today, and has happened for decades, is unacceptable.

As we join our fellow Americans to mourn for the loss of black lives, both from racial violence and the pandemic, we acknowledge how our humanity is linked, and that truly, every breath is precious. We stand ready to listen and work with individuals and organizations to create a more just world.”

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AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION

June 1, 2020: “The civil unrest taking place in America is a call to action to all Americans to address the longstanding racial inequalities facing the Black community,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “Centuries of systemic and institutional racism toward Black Americans has led to decreased access to health care and multiple adverse health outcomes—as recently seen during the COVID-19 pandemic—in addition to anxiety and lower life-expectancy. We need to fight racial inequalities and discrimination that are life-threating to so many Black Americans. APA stands with the Black Community and all those opposed to racism to protect and improve the lives of the those who have experienced discrimination and the associated trauma.”

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AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION & NATIONAL MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

June 16, 2020: “The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the National Medical Association (NMA) stand together in expressing our condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the family of George Floyd. His murder was a senseless act of violence that we forcefully condemn. Systemic racism is evident in America, as seen by police violence against Black Americans, including young children (Tamir Rice), those inside their own homes (Breonna Taylor), those shot in the back (Rayshard Brooks), as well as others involved in harmless acts (Eric Garner). Systemic racism is also apparent in the health disparities in Black communities as evidenced by their much higher mortality rates from COVID-19. We cannot and will not accept this.

As organizations whose members care for the underserved and ethnic minority patients, both the APA and NMA value and appreciate every life, seek to prevent harm, improve health outcomes, and eliminate senseless loss of life. Our professional credibility is grounded in ensuring that every person, regardless of their skin color, is respected and valued. We stand with the Black community and others who have been marginalized by police, the health care system, and society.”

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AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

May 29, 2020: “The AMA urges other leading health organizations to also take up the mantle of intolerance for police brutality and racism. We urge states to require the reporting of legal intervention deaths and law enforcement officer homicides to public health agencies. We urge health institutions and physician organizations to explicitly denounce police violence, particularly in times of COVID-19 and during other public health crises. We urge clinics, hospital and healthcare providers to review and reconsider their policies and relationships with law enforcement that may increase harm to patients and patient communities. We call for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and other such parties to study the public health effects of physical and verbal violence between law enforcement officers and public citizens, particularly within racially marginalized communities. We call for uniform training, transparency in reporting and accountability by law enforcement.”

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AMERICAN PSYCHOANALYTIC ASSOCIATION - AHMAUD ARBERY

May 11, 2020: “The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) warns that implicit bias and racism kills. APsaA decries the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, an African American man killed on February 23rd while jogging in a suburban neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia. Video footage of the event released to the public earlier last week led to outrage, protests, and demands for the arrests of the two white men seen pursuing and killing Mr. Arbery. (Neither were arrested until May 7th, more than two months after the murder and the day Arbery would have turned 26).”

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AMERICAN PSYCHOANALYTIC ASSOCIATION - RACISM

June 2, 2020“Following the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) calls for not only recognizing, but substantively addressing the profoundly destructive cycles of racial hatred, violence, and trauma in the United States. “As psychoanalysts, we know that only when trauma can be spoken about, when it is truly heard, can it be healed,” said William Glover, president of the American Psychoanalytic Association. “The current protests and unrest are communicating a denied pain stemming from centuries of racism which has never been properly listened to or addressed.” “We call on our leaders to express a sense of morality, fairness and commitment to equality, to publicly and explicitly denounce tragic and discriminatory acts when they occur,” said Glover. “But this civil unrest is a call to action for us all to listen, to speak out, and take concrete steps to address and reconcile our collective, longstanding, painful history with racism and racial violence.”

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AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

May 29, 2020: “We are living in a racism pandemic, which is taking a heavy psychological toll on our African American citizens. The health consequences are dire. Racism is associated with a host of psychological consequences, including depression, anxiety and other serious, sometimes debilitating conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders. Moreover, the stress caused by racism can contribute to the development of cardiovascular and other physical diseases.”

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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS

The killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests across the country have laid bare the nation’s legacy of racism and discrimination and the ways it harms all members of our communities. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) condemns racism of all forms, and notes that even vicarious racism – witnessed through social media, conversations with friends or family, or media images – harms children’s health. As an organization dedicated to the health and well-being of children, adolescents and young adults, it is in our mission as the American Academy of Pediatrics to fight all forms of racism,” Dr. Goza said. “We must dismantle racism at every level, from individual to institutional to systemic. Our nation did not get here overnight, and the road to progress and healing will be long and difficult, but the work we have before us is essential. Our children’s future will be built on these moments of reckoning.”

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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY

“The AAN’s Vision is to be indispensable to its members; our Mission is to promote the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care and enhance member career satisfaction. We cannot be indispensable if we remain silent in the face of an issue that so profoundly impacts so many of our members. We cannot promote the best care for our patients or enhance the careers of our members if we ignore the pervasive inequities that are often insurmountable barriers to both. In the face of these historic and systemic issues, it is not enough to not be a racist organization. We must speak out and lead in order to ensure change. To achieve our Vision and Mission, we must be an anti-racist organization. The AAN commits to enact sustained change for our members and patients. In this historic moment, we are resolved to pursue bold action beyond rhetoric and stand with the communities we serve to eliminate inequities that are antithetical to our values and the pursuit of our Vision and Mission.”

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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE SURGERY OF TRAUMA

“As surgeons, our duty by oath is to care for all who are sick and injured. Racism is a form of structural violence and a public health issue that is especially harmful to our Black and Brown communities. AAST stands against any and all forms of racism, violence, intolerance, and discrimination. We will continue to support our patients, fellows, and associates by using our voices to amplify and support the health and safety of all races, ethnicities, classifications, and self-identification. We encourage you to listen to your patients, fellow members, and coworkers’ experiences during this time and to continue to offer them your support. As an organization, we call on our members to continue our mission to improve the quality of care for EVERY patient by advancing our field through compassion, discovery, and dedication.”

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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF DIRECTORS OF PSYCHIATRIC RESIDENCY TRAINING

“It is hard to fathom where our country is today. For far too long, communities of color have endured unimaginable atrocities. The brutal murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, all carried out with apparent immunity, provides a painful reminder of the limited value our society continues to place on black lives. The stories have become all too familiar. They shed light on the world of racism and danger communities of color face every day. In the year ahead, we are looking forward to identifying opportunities to translate these guiding principles into specific actions. As an organization, AADPRT has made significant progress. At the same time there is a lot of work to do. Addressing racism demands that we call out violence and condemn police brutality. It will also require examining the cultural drivers that reinforce racism and white privilege in our own communities. As educators overseeing the training of future psychiatrists, it is critical that we identify concrete ways to combat health disparities and provide culturally appropriate mental health care to all communities. As academic leaders in positions of influence, we have an obligation to raise awareness about systemic racism. We cannot stay silent.”

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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF NEUROLOGICAL SURGEONS & CONGRESS OF NEUROLOGICAL SURGEONS

“As a profession, we in neurosurgery aim to promote the highest quality of patient care and advance the specialty of neurosurgery and neurosurgical education while espousing the values of integrity, leadership, excellence, and professionalism. As organizations and as a profession, we are committed to inclusion and diversity within our neurosurgical community. As neurosurgeons, we are committed to providing the highest quality of care to all segments of our society. Indeed, our principles are only relevant to the extent they apply to the most disadvantaged in our society. As principled health care professionals, it is imperative to stand against all forms of discrimination and acts of violence — particularly that which is driven by intolerance and hatred. We encourage you all to engage your patients, your colleagues and your communities in discussions as to how we can help heal our country and care for all who need us, including our most vulnerable.”

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AMERICAN BOARD OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE

“ABEM condemns the social injustice of systemic racism and any form of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Addressing racism and prejudice are critical to ABEM’s achievement of its mission to ensure the highest standards in the specialty of Emergency Medicine. ABEM strongly stands with emergency physicians who care for ALL who enter an emergency department regardless of their race and ethnicity. ABEM strongly stands with members of the public who work to address the underlying social disparities that impact the health and care of our communities, especially our communities of color.” 

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AMERICAN BOARD OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY

“The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) stands in solidarity with our health care community in opposition to the institutional racism, discrimination and violence that has plagued the country for so long. We mourn the death of George Floyd and others who have fallen at the hands of injustice and intolerance. The bias and discrimination present in our society makes its way into health care setting as well, hurting vulnerable populations, particularly minority communities. Underrepresented minorities continue to experience disproportionately high mortality related to childbirth, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and now from the COVID pandemic. Racism and discrimination in any setting — whether health care, law enforcement, or any other — is unacceptable. Like other members of our Obstetrics and Gynecology and women’s health community, we are committed to the conversations and actions needed to bring about much needed change and equity.”

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CARDIOLOGY, ASSOCIATION OF BLACK CARDIOLOGISTS, & THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION

“The ACC has joined with the Association of Black Cardiologists and the American Heart Association to denounce the “incidents of racism and violence” that continue to ravage communities across the U.S. “Like cardiovascular disease, acts of violence and racism are core causes of psychosocial stress that promote poor well-being and cardiovascular health, especially for communities of color,” the letter states. The letter goes on to highlight the ongoing work of ABC, ACC, AHA and others in addressing cardiovascular disparities in our communities, and notes “the unprecedented opportunity to address these issues through policy and by working with affected communities and the health care providers who serve them.”

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AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GASTROENTEROLOGY, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF LIVER DISEASES, AMERICAN GASTROENTEROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, & AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR GASTROINTESTINAL ENDOSCOPY

“As healthcare providers, we have dedicated our lives to caring for our fellow human beings. Therefore, we are compelled to speak out against any treatment that results in unacceptable disparities that marginalize the vulnerable among us. As leaders of the four GI societies, AASLD, ACG, AGA, and ASGE, we stand united in condemning racism, bigotry and discrimination based on race, religion, gender, country of origin and sexual orientation. There is also a deeper pain that racism, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, has revealed. COVID-19 has disproportionately harmed the health of many underserved communities. We realize, as a profession, that we need to better understand the effects of structural racism on health inequities. With this in mind, we pledge to continue to advocate for diversity in our staff and governance, grant awards to research health care disparities, ensure quality care for all, and work tirelessly to reduce inequalities in health care delivery and access.”

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AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS

“ACOG is an organization committed to inclusion and equity. We condemn racism and discrimination in any form, including in systems such as law enforcement and health care. As the nation’s leading organization of physicians dedicated to women’s health, we know that words are not enough. Together, we must work for meaningful change. With respect to our specialty, the unacceptable racial inequity in the delivery of health care led us this past fall to launch our Commitment to Changing the Culture of Medicine and Eliminating Racial Disparities in Women’s Health Outcomes. Our work spans clinical, advocacy, and policy contexts and, importantly, requires self-reflection and examination of our own biases and prejudices so that we can then address them. We are grateful for the opportunity to listen to, collaborate with, and lift up the critical work of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, SisterSong, the Shades of Blue Project, and many others working for racial justice. We are also grateful to the ACOG members who have been part of this work for many years in their communities.”

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AMERICAN COLLEGE OF NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY

“The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) is a professional, international organization dedicated to advancing understanding of the brain and the root causes of brain disorders, particularly mental illness. Our  mission statement states that we “promote and recognize principles of fairness, equity, and social justice” in science and society. To that end, we stand with many other scientific and professional organizations in condemning any and all systemic racism and racial disparities. These critical scientific and public health issues require immediate societal attention and policy solutions. Over-policing and other forms of systemic racism towards communities of color harm every American and stain the claim that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are basic rights of all Americans. It is time for change, and the scientific community must be part of that change.”

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AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS

“African-Americans and other minorities are subject to prejudice and discrimination in our society that has an immense negative impact on their health. African-Americans in particular are at risk of being subjected to discrimination and violence against them because of their race, endangering them and even costing them their lives. Racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to have access to health care than people who are white. Further, even when controlling for issues with access to care they tend to receive poorer quality care. We know that prejudice, discrimination, and violence disproportionately harm the health and well-being of racial and ethnic communities. The American College of Physicians is committed to combatting racial disparities that affect health and health care. This includes fighting the prejudice at the root of the problem, as well as the discrimination, inequities, violence and hate crimes that result from that prejudice. Racial disparities, discrimination, harassment and violence are public health issues. Evidence-based solutions are needed to combat the stressors that disproportionately harm racial and ethnic communities.”

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AMERICAN COLLEGE OF RHEUMATOLOGY

“The American College of Rheumatology is deeply troubled by the recent events surrounding the death of George Floyd. This tragedy is the latest in a long history of senseless killings of people of color. We recognize that racial inequality is an invisible undercurrent impacting the lives of many of our members and patients and we condemn all acts that cause marginalization, discrimination, harm or death to any person. From lupus mortality, to arthritis disability, and most recently to COVID-19 deaths, our minority communities have suffered disproportionately. As physicians and healthcare professionals, we are bound to protect the health of all of humanity. The American College of Rheumatology pledges to be a leader for inclusion and change for our members, our trainees, our staff and our patients.”

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AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS

“Recent events across the country have significantly impacted us all, particularly Fellows who are members of Black and Brown communities.

The ACS stands in solidarity against racism, violence, and intolerance. Our mission is to serve all with skill and fidelity, and that extends beyond the operating room. 

Racism, brutal attacks, and subsequent violence must end. We will help any injured, and we will use our voice in support of the health and safety of every person.”

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AMERICAN EPILEPSY SOCIETY

“A heartbreaking pattern of social justice failures, coupled with COVID-19’s consequences, has appropriately put the disparities in our nation’s healthcare system and larger culture under a worldwide spotlight. These disparities account for a disproportionate disease impact among African Americans and other non-white populations. We must commit to a future in which healthcare inequities are addressed and eliminated. Achieving this goal requires hard work. 

The American Epilepsy Society reaffirms our commitment to performing this work in the pursuit of solutions. We embrace our responsibility as a medical and scientific society to include the full range of issues that impact patient outcomes, notably the special needs of underserved populations and supporting the continued development of a diverse healthcare workforce.”

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AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION

“The American Osteopathic Association wishes to publicly express our profound sadness in response to the tragic death of George Floyd, and we firmly stand with all who are impacted by systemic racism and inequality. In addition to recognizing the personal loss for Mr. Floyd’s family and loved ones, we mourn the stark reality that overt racism, unfortunately, still exists within our nation. We embrace the belief that all aspects of an individual, including but not limited to race, contribute to the whole person and should never result in disadvantage or infliction of harm. We are hopeful that through this tragedy, meaningful and necessary social reform can and will occur, and we are uplifted by the peaceful protests uniting all races and ethnicities in support of equality and justice. At the same time, we are deeply disappointed that the criminal actions of the few have, in part, overshadowed the lawful and righteous efforts of peaceful protestors across our nation. Our hearts are heavy, but our will is strong. The osteopathic community will continue working on the front lines to help heal the nation and look to a brighter future.”

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BLACK PSYCHIATRISTS OF AMERICA

June 3, 2020: “The Black Psychiatrists of America (BPA) condemns all acts of racism and police brutality, especially those that lead to the systemic oppression and murder of countless Black people who are not given the opportunity for true justice in this country. Today, there are two life-threatening pandemics occurring in America at this time, COVID-19 and racism. One, racism, preceded the other but, both are killing Black people at alarming and disproportionate rates. The Black Psychiatrists of America believes that a change is long overdue and must come sooner rather than later. Being Black in America should not be hazardous to your health. It is time that our country addresses these inequalities and hold these police officers (and any other citizen) accountable for the repeated hate crimes toward Black Americans. Fifty-one years ago, the Black Psychiatrists of America was founded in response to the failed response from the European model psychiatric system in America, to fight against racism, marginalization, and other forms of racial discrimination against Black people. We will continue to fight for an end to these acts of racism that threaten the health of our community and all other areas of life for Blacks in America.”

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BLACK NEUROSURGEONS

“Most recently, in the setting of continued efforts to respond to COVID-19 as a widespread and global pandemic, the nation has been rocked by the brutal murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by a White police officer in the audience of the public and other police officers representing the Minneapolis Police Department. Our hearts and minds are also heavy with thoughts of those who have recently lost their lives, like Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, who are part of a long list dating back to and before the murders of Michael Brown in 2014 and Eric Garner in 2016. The cries of outrage reflected in the most recent days of protest and unrest reflect another insidious pandemic of grave public health consequence we have yet to curtail or respond to as a society at large. Speaking as Black constituents within the field of neurosurgery, we are in the unique position to speak up and against cyclical and imminent public health threats to the Black community, fiercely and persistently. We are adding our voices in solidarity with medical institutions like the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), National Medical Association (NMA), American Medical Association (AMA), and American Heart Association (AHA), that assert excessive use of police force and violence is a public health issue.”

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COLLECTIVE BLACK PHYSICIANS

“As Black physicians in the U.S., we take our professional responsibilities and duties seriously. We want to ensure that the preliminary autopsy findings released in the criminal complaint are appropriately explained to the public who may have limited understanding of medical terminology and practices. Trivial error or misinterpretation of medical information can have devastating consequences. We reject conclusions drawn from the preliminary autopsy findings. Again, we assert that the most probable cause of death of Mr. George Floyd was the physical occlusion of his airway, decreased blood flow and oxygen delivery to his brain, and restricted ventilation, all due to the physical restraint aided by Officers Chauvin, Lane and Kueng of the Minnesota Police Department. We will continue to scrutinize the medicolegal documents presented in this case to ensure that ethical and unbiased information has been collected independently from law enforcement, prosecutors, and media. Mr. George Floyd, like any other American citizen, deserves justice.”

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EMERGENCY MEDICINE RESIDENTS' ASSOCIATION

“Racism is a social determinant of health, and it is our job as emergency medicine physicians-in-training to combat this, no different than giving insulin in DKA or buprenorphine in opioid withdrawal. “The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist’.”1 We must not be silent, for silence is complacency. EMRA’s mission is to be the voice of emergency medicine physicians-in-training and the future of our specialty. Let’s use our voices — to call out racism and hold people accountable; to vote for anti-racist leaders on every election ballot we can get our hands on; to advocate for policy change, whether at a hospital, state, or federal level. While solutions can feel unattainable in the wake of anger, fear, and sadness, we all have the ability to start somewhere.”

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NATIONAL MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

May 27, 2020: “The National Medical Association (NMA) extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Floyd. The killing of George Floyd is another reminder of the lingering effects of institutional racism in many communities throughout these United States. The conduct of these police officers is reprehensible and requires a full criminal and administrative investigation. The NMA calls for comprehensive reform in response to police use of excessive force.”

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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS

May 28, 2020: “The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) strongly condemns the continued death of unarmed people who are African American at the hands of police. We renew our call for the nation to adopt policing reforms to address this crisis. And we offer our condolences to the families of the people who have died. NASW over the years has been very vocal in calling for reforms of police use of force laws. We have joined with other national organizations to ensure that it be mandatory that police wear body cameras, and that cameras be turned on during encounters with people suspected of crimes. However, it is clear that these efforts have only brought modest success in addressing excessive and lethal use of force by police. It is equally clear that before America can end racial disparities in use of force, there must be a change in police culture. Police departments must root out the many officers who continue to view Black lives as being less valuable than that of other Americans. NASW will continue to fight for that cultural change.”

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NATIONAL NURSES UNITED

“In the wake of the latest police killing of an African American man in Minneapolis, National Nurses United joins those calling for systemic reform on the use of deadly force by law enforcement agencies, and increased review of discriminatory practices that infer a racial bias. At its NNU Convention delegates in 2018, NNU members cited “the pervasive problems of racial, economic, and social injustice that have so stained our nation and undermined the promise of democracy” and re-emphasized that “as nurses, we are dedicated to prevent all forms of illness, protect health, and alleviate human suffering.” The resolution pledged NNU to continue to champion “patient advocacy beyond the bedside” by partnering with organizations and communities of color as part of our work to build a wider movement that will fight for a society that cherishes and celebrates our rich diversity.”

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PHYSICIANS FOR A NATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM

“The horrific murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked protests nationwide. Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), an organization of more than 23,000 doctors who support Medicare for All, denounces police brutality and racism in all forms; demands immediate steps to ensure racial justice at all levels of government; and calls for racism and racial health inequity to be treated as public health emergencies. PNHP is committed to fighting all forms of racial inequity, including the structural racism that puts Black people at substantially higher risk of police violence and incarceration, and a broken health care system that denies patients of color the right to health and health care.” 

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SOCIETY FOR MATERNAL FETAL MEDICINE

“The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) recognizes the impact of racism and is committed to working towards the elimination of the racism and health inequities that impact our members and the patients they serve. Our Society members are tremendously affected by these events. We are persons of color, married or in loving relationships with, parent, employ or work with persons of color. In our offices and hospitals, we provide healthcare for persons of color. Racism is a public health crisis. We cannot eliminate health disparities and health inequities without removing racism. Racism is entangled into the policies of our country, and unless we acknowledge that fact, we cannot move towards a solution.”

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SOCIETY FOR NEUROONCOLOGY

“Systemic racism is America’s original sin with long-reaching societal consequences that impact education, housing and health care, where bias leads to disparities in treatment and survival of Black, Latinx, and Native populations in the United States. We’ve seen this most recently with outcomes with the COVID pandemic, as well as differences in care across multiple medical subspecialties, including neuro-oncology. Earlier this year, the Women and Diversity Committee was formed to advance the careers of women and minority clinicians, investigators and trainees through education and mentorship, and develop strategies to ensure underrepresented and vulnerable populations receive equitable care and access to clinical trials. While the formation of this committee is a necessary initial step, it is not enough. We need to do much more to fight against racism.”

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WASHINGTON BALTIMORE CENTER FOR PSYCHOANALYSIS

“The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are terrible reminders of the persistent, dehumanizing effects of systemic racism and bigotry in our country. This is not simply the result of “bad apples” in police departments but of racism that is embedded in our institutions and can no longer be ignored. Psychoanalytic approaches to group dynamics teach us that silent bystanders are not innocent bystanders, and we, at the WBCP, regret the extent to which our previous silence has made us complicit with the horrors to which we now react. We acknowledge our complicity, and we dedicate ourselves to finding a different path, consistent with the values of diversity and equal rights that we have consciously held and espoused. We commit ourselves to new dialogues and new understandings aimed at dismantling the structures of racism in our own institution, our communities, and the country at large. We are also obligated to bring our voices and understanding of unconscious motivation, trauma, roots of violence (including that perpetrated by the state), and group dynamics to these conversations and to join with other organizations and fellow citizens to bring about lasting social change.”

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WOMEN IN ANESTHESIOLOGY

“We denounce the acts of overt violence against the black community. We also recognize the acts that occur daily in subtle, tiresome ways through callous, offhand remarks or through the silence of colleagues and leaders during states of crisis such as this. As an organization founded by, counseled by, and in service to people of color, we stand in solidarity against racism in all its forms. We stand firmly against racial discrimination through individual actions or institutional policies. We forge onward to seek equity at work and at home for women anesthesiologists, our patients, and our communities near and far.”
 

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WOMEN OF COLOR IN PHARMA

“Along with a significant portion of the world, the Women of Color in Pharma community expresses profound grief and our deepest condolences to the families and friends mourning the loss of their loved ones to police brutality. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are the most recent in centuries of killings of Black men and women that appear to be racially motivated and need to stop. WOCIP strongly opposes the continuous threat and harm to Black lives and supports peaceful efforts to implement solutions in our communities and workplaces. The protests unraveling globally are a testament to the collective outrage, pain and exhaustion many are feeling. While we do not condone uncivil/violent actions, it is imperative to outline immediate steps that can be taken to peacefully eradicate racial injustice and drive change.”
 

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COVID-19: Risks for Detained and Incarcerated Youth

Open Letter: COVID-19 Risks for Detained and Incarcerated Youth

In a collaboration with the National Juvenile Defender Center, PfCJR has offered our support and recommendations for detained and incarcerated youth facing the new risks posed by COVID-19.

To: State Governors, State and Local Juvenile Detention and Correctional Departments, and Juvenile Court Judges and Magistrates

From: Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform

Because detained and incarcerated populations are at high risk to contract a virus like COVID-19, which spreads through respiratory droplets, we strongly urge governors, juvenile court systems, and state and local juvenile detention and correctional departments to address the ongoing global health pandemic by swiftly implementing the following recommendations:

  1. Immediately release youth in detention and correctional facilities who can safely return to the home of their families and/or caretakers, with community-based supports and supervision, in order to alleviate potential exposure to COVID-19;
  2. Halt new admissions to detention and incarceration facilities to mitigate the harm from the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  3. Establish and share publicly a COVID-19 safety plan for all youth who remain in facilities to ensure they have proper access to cleaning and sanitation supplies, as well as resources, support, and contact with loved ones.

I. Coronavirus Pandemic

In light of the rapid global outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we want to bring attention to the serious risk of harms facing young people in juvenile detention and correctional facilities. United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a national public health emergency on January 31, 2020. Governors across the nation have declared public health emergencies, and a national emergency was announced on March 13, 2020.

As of March 21, 2020, there have been more than 300,000 confirmed cases worldwide, with more than 13,000 deaths. The U.S. has more than 26,000 confirmed cases, with at least 300 deaths. Public health experts expect the number of confirmed cases to rise exponentially and warn that the situation in the U.S. will get worse before improving, possibly requiring us all to shelter in place.
 
II. Public Health Conditions in Detention and Correctional Facilities are Already Poor
 
Detention and correctional facilities are designed to maximize control of the young people in their population, not to minimize disease transmission or to efficiently deliver health care. Transmission of infectious diseases in adult jails and prisons is incredibly common, especially those transmitted by respiratory droplets. For example, it is estimated that up to one quarter of the U.S. prison population has been infected with tuberculosis, a rate of active TB infection that is six to ten times higher than the general population. Flu outbreaks are regular occurrences in jails and prisons across the United States. With a mortality rate 10 times greater than the seasonal flu and a higher R0 (the average number of individuals who can contract the disease from a single infected person) than Ebola, an outbreak of COVID-19 in youth detention and correctional facilities would be devastating.
 
III. Risks of a COVID-19 Outbreak in Detention
 
Emerging evidence about COVID-19 indicates that spread is mostly via respiratory droplets among close contacts and through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Reports that the virus may be viable for hours in the air and possibly days on surfaces are particularly concerning. Though it is believed that people are most contagious when they are symptomatic, transmission has been documented in the absence of symptoms. In about 19 percent of cases, COVID-19 illness is severe, including pneumonia with respiratory failure, septic shock, multi-organ failure, and even death. Some people are at higher risk of getting severely sick from this illness, including people who have serious chronic medical conditions like asthma, lung disease, and diabetes, and those who are immunocompromised. There are currently no antiviral drugs licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19, or post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent infection once exposed.
 
Community spread is in the U.S., and staff at juvenile facilities have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of cases is growing exponentially, and health systems are already being strained. Social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control are nearly impossible in detention and correctional facilities, and testing remains largely unavailable. In facilities that are already crowded, large scale quarantines, which means isolation in many facilities, is neither feasible nor humane. Isolation may be misused and place young people at higher risk of neglect and death. COVID-19 threatens the well-being of detained youth, as well as the corrections staff who shuttle between the community and detention and/or correctional facilities.
 
COVID-19 cases have already been confirmed in detention facilities in which young people live in close quarters, which have subpar infection control measures in place, and whose population represents some of the most vulnerable. In this setting, we can expect spread of COVID-19 in a manner similar to that at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington, at which over 50 percent of residents have tested positive for the virus and over 20 percent have died in the past month.
 
Given all we know about COVID-19 and the realities of juvenile detention facilities, the time to act is now. While this pandemic is unlike anything our country has seen before, it is important to ensure that all youth justice detention and corrections agencies develop a complete safety plan to ensure comprehensive and coordinated implementation across the entire agency. This not only includes typical health measures, such as ensuring all staff and youth have proper access to cleaning and sanitation supplies, and instructions to sanitize all surfaces throughout the day, but also ensuring mental health is not forgotten and that young people have resources, support, and
contact with loved ones.
 
IV. Incarcerating Children During this Crisis Exacerbates Trauma and Risks of Harm
 
No one is sure when this crisis will abate, and we are all feeling fear and uncertainty about the future. However, it is magnified for the families who are separated from their children because their children are incarcerated. The anxiety and emotional distress youth may feel when removed from the home and incarcerated is certainly exacerbated by the current pandemic. Our youth are the future of our nation and, recognizing that the majority of young people in detention and
correctional facilities across the nation are removed from their communities for non-violent charges and pose no threat to community safety, it is unacceptable to allow children to be separated from their families during this global crisis.
 
Many detention and correctional facilities have not communicated with youths’ parents, except to tell them they cannot visit. As noted previously, we do not believe detention and correctional facilities are equipped to appropriately handle this crisis. However, this vast lack of communication increases the uncertainty, anxiety, and fear on the part of families and their children.
 
According to the CDC, children, teens, and people with preexisting mental health conditions are among those “who many respond more strongly” to the stress and fears associated with the outbreak of this disease. In essence, a preexisting mental health condition renders a youth more vulnerable to increased distress related to the current health crisis. Research has consistently demonstrated the prevalence of mental health disorders among youth in the detention center is at least twice that of youth who are not detained. These uncertain times are traumatic for the country and the world. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “[c]hildren who suffer potentially traumatic events are more likely to develop lasting emotional problems if they are not with their parents – or are separated from their parents – immediately after the event.” Allowing youth to “shelter in place” with their families can potentially reduce the negative emotional impact that this global crisis may have on their current well-being and long-term adjustment.
 
V. Juvenile Courts Must Respond to this Public Health Crisis
 
Juvenile courts have an obligation to avoid the preventable spread of COVID-19 amongst the youth in their care. The COVID-19 outbreak puts young people at unnecessary risk of illness and of becoming carriers of the disease. Recent public health recommendations indicate that the safest practice for all people is to remain at home with family members as much as possible. Worldwide trends indicate these recommendations will become more stringent guidelines sooner rather than later. Further detention and incarceration of any minors who can remain safely at home with families and/or caretakers is inconsistent with the rehabilitative goals of the juvenile justice system and contrary to public health recommendations.
 
Especially now that the nation has moved into the community transmission phase of this global pandemic, the possibility of detention and correctional staff transmitting the virus to youth in their custody, and/or infected youth passing the virus to staff is a real risk. This public health crisis requires each and every one of us to re-evaluate how we conduct our lives and care for one another. Institutions responsible for the care and custody of vulnerable populations must take unique steps to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of this virus. We strongly recommend that governors, juvenile court systems, and state and local juvenile detention and correctional departments across the nation release youth in detention and correctional facilities who can safely return to the home of their families and/or caretakers with community-based supports and supervision, and be mindful of incarcerating as few youth as possible in order to mitigate the harm from a COVID-19 outbreak.
 
Sincerely,
Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform

Write an Op-Ed for PfCJR for Our March Newsletter

Write an Op-Ed

THE TOPIC

Attorney General William P. Barr has supported an expansion of mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes involving fentanyl analogues that some have dubbed “The “New War on Drugs.”

THE QUESTION

Should the US government expand minimum sentencing penalties on fentanyl analogues? Would it actually help reduce illicit drug use? What inadvertent effects might it have on marginalized communities?

OP-ED CRITERIA

  • Respond to this month’s prompt
  • Writer must be a paid member of PfCJR
  • Remain under 750 words
  • Share your perspective on the topic
  • Due by March 15, 2020

Submit Piece

        » Send here

Background

NANCY GERTNER: William Barr’s New War on Drugs

The Washington Post: Attorney General William P. Barr’s support for an expansion of mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes involving fentanyl analogues should come as no surprise given his long record of hawking incarceration as a solution to our drug crisis. We have seen this movie before; it does not end well.

READ MORE >

SADIE GURMAN: Will William Barr Revive the 1990s Tough-on-Crime Approach?

The Wall Street Journal: William Barr’s vision of law and order was forged at the height of the 1990s crack epidemic, when the DC consensus was that long mandatory sentencing was the best way to fight crime. Since then, bipartisan support has shifted toward more lenient punishments and alternatives. Mr. Barr is signaling that the views defining his first stint in the role may be changing.

READ MORE >

Not sure how to write an op-ed?

Check out this op-ed training webinar! It provides tips for writing effective and engaging op-eds, specifically with regard to health care and physicians issues.

This webinar was co-hosted by one of our partners, Doctors For America, and Families USA.

Click here to watch the webinar.

Have any other questions? Reach us at our social media or the email contact listed below.

Write an Op-Ed for PfCJR for Our February Newsletter

Write an Op-Ed

THE TOPIC

The Second Look Amendment Act: a proposed bill which expands eligibility for sentence review to all those who committed crimes before age 25 and have served at least 15 years in prison.

THE QUESTION

Would the Second Look Amendment Act help or harm the criminal justice system? If passed, what effects would the bill have on public health and juvenile justice?

OP-ED CRITERIA

  • Writer must be a paid member of PfCJR
  • Remain under 750 words
  • Answer this month’s question
  • Share your perspective on the topic
  • Due by February 28, 2020

Submit Piece

        » Send here

Background

JAMES FORMAN JR: Justice Sometimes Needs A Do-Over

The Washington Post: Forman Jr. argues that the Second Look Amendment Act “offers a promising corrective to the harsh — and ineffective — practices once commonplace in courthouses across America. The bill gives the D.C. Council a chance to restore a measure of fairness to a criminal system often lacking it. If the council is willing to embrace reason over fearmongering, I am confident the Second Look Amendment Act will be recognized as another proud accomplishment.”

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THE POST: D.C. Has Gone Too Far on Justice Reforms

The Washington Post: The Post argues that the Second Look Act would be harmful to the criminal justice system. “Out the window would go transparency and truth in sentencing — the assurance to victims and the community that punishment is what it appears to be. By discouraging judges from considering the original crime when they weigh reducing sentences, the council is putting the public at increased risk, unnecessarily.”

READ MORE >

Not sure how to write an op-ed?

Check out this op-ed training webinar! It provides tips for writing effective and engaging op-eds, specifically with regard to health care and physicians issues.

This webinar was co-hosted by one of our partners, Doctors For America, and Families USA.

Click here to watch the webinar.

Have any other questions? Reach us at our social media or the email contact listed below.

Blinded By Fear: Why Americans Continue to Fail at Criminal Justice Reform

Blinded By Fear: Why Americans Continue to Fail at Criminal Justice Reform

Christopher Hoffman, MD

Following the deaths of 15 inmates last month, the failures of the Mississippi state justice system have become the most recent motivator for prison reform. According to Joseph Neff and Alysia Santo from the Marshall Project, the problems with Mississippi prisons include corrupt, underpaid staff, a poor guard to inmate ratio, powerful gangs, and frequent lockdowns. Of course, such cases of inhumane prison conditions are not exclusive to Mississippi. Recall — in 2019, video footage of a Brooklyn prison surfaced, revealing inmates beating on the windows to attract attention; they were out of lights, heat, and warm showers for an entire week in the middle of winter. Later in the same year, several prisons in Alabama were declared unconstitutional for violating the 8th amendment condemning “cruel and unusual punishment,” after investigators uncovered the routine occurrence of sexual assault and excessive violence toward inmates. These cases are not outliers; if anything, they speak to how negligence and lack of transparency are not only widespread problems that pervade the country, but also a structural issue that plagues the incarceration system at large. As medical professionals, it is imperative to promote the reform and reconstruction of the correctional system.

It is no secret that our prison system is in total ruin. Experts use adjectives like overcrowded, understaffed, violent, unsanitary, and even unconstitutional when reporting about our correctional facilities. In addition, prisons are expensive and do not deliver the promised results of rehabilitating inmates to eventually reintegrate into safer communities. According to an article from the Vara Institute of Justice, incarceration does little to alter crime rates, and instead diverts attention from the more effective and less costly ways to reduce and prevent crime. The fact that we spend nearly $24,000 more on inmate retention than education in the public-school system speaks volumes to our country’s priorities. Moreover, most of the money spent on these inmates go toward advancing punishment methods, even though many studies conducted by other countries like Norway have consistently shown that rehabilitation is the most efficient method for crime reduction. With such a defective system, Americans should reflect seriously on why so many of us are unconcerned about our prison system, and how acceptable it is that we have not yet demanded its complete overhaul.

The Maya Angelou quote, “when you know better, you do better,” comes to mind. We possess too much evidence to claim that we are unaware of the gravity of the problems in our justice system. And yet, despite this knowledge, we are still not doing better. Therefore, we must consider another variable unmentioned in the quote. That is emotion. Imagine this — a person comes to your home, tells you he or she was recently released from prison and asks for work. What are you feeling? Although the person has done nothing wrong, the feeling that you are experiencing is probably in the realm of fear — fear that this person is a criminal, doubt that he or she has learned to be “good” from their punishment, concern that his or her behavior has not truly changed, and anxiety that you might be the next victim. These are all valid reasons to be afraid.

However, criminal behavior is explained by far more than the mere notion that past actions predict future ones (i.e., once a criminal, always a criminal). A more realistic and humane understanding should recognize the fact that people who enter prison are not allowed to learn more adaptive ways of living, since punishment is the primary approach to corrections. Studies show that punishment is the least effective method for learning and changing behavior. It takes rehabilitation.

Twenty years ago, Norway’s “revolving door to prison” was much like that of the U.S., with a recidivism rate of about 60-70 percent. This rate decreased after focusing more on the humane treatment of inmates. They built prison facilities that look like dorms or apartments, and trained guards to be more helpful, like counselors. They treat inmates like students, providing education and counseling in a healthy environment to address the circumstances that landed them in prison. Now, their recidivism rate is down to about 20 percent. The Norwegian system is the model for restructuring our correctional system.

Unfortunately, we as a society have bought into the fear-based logic that confinement and punishment improve our collective safety and criminals cycle through prison because they cannot amount to anything else. We allow our fears to overshadow credible data and examples of more effective, less expensive correctional systems. We must gain the courage to trust the facts. As Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Let’s do better. Let’s try something different.

Christopher Hoffman is a board-certified psychiatrist and an active member of Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform. He strives to provide excellent care to individuals with mental disturbances, their families, and surrounding communities while creating greater awareness regarding insufficient services to poor and underserved communities.

Legalization: The Necessary Path Forward

Legalization: The Necessary Path Forward

Josh Pagano, D.O.

How do Joe Biden and Cory Booker differ on their policy stances on marijuana decriminalization and legalization? Which is the better policy?

Legalization of marijuana has become a major issue in the Democratic primary, inspiring the now-viral moment in which Cory Booker quipped at Joe Biden, “I thought you might have been high” when Biden announced he did not support the legalization of marijuana.

The criminalization of mental illness and addictive disorders is the major stressor affecting many stigmatized patients. Incarcerated people with substance use disorders are disproportionately poor and African American. As if suffering from addictive disorders were not difficult enough, the ramifications of resulting arrests are also debilitating. The immediate effects include job loss and homelessness, and the intermediate effects include all of the psychological consequences of incarceration — the trauma of physical violence, the fear for one’s safety, and the pressure to join gangs. Individuals leave prison having missed large portions of their family lives, with resulting damage to meaningful relationships. All of these effects compound with the long-term consequence of a criminal record that significantly limits the ability to acquire jobs or housing, and ultimately increases the risk of future violence and recidivism.

Of all illicit drugs, the one resulting in the most arrests is marijuana. Democratic candidates, Joe Biden and Cory Booker, propose different policies regarding how to address the legal status of marijuana. 

Joe Biden supports the decriminalization of the personal use of small amounts of marijuana, claiming that “The punishment should fit the crime, but I think legalization is a mistake.” Instead, he would prefer to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I Controlled Substance (where it currently resides with Heroin and LSD) to a Schedule II Controlled Substance (listed alongside Dilaudid®, Percocet®, and Fentanyl). However, the unlawful possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance is a misdemeanor or a felony depending on local state laws, implying that such a re-classification would likely not affect the rates of marijuana-related arrests. It is unclear how Biden will square this with his stance that marijuana should be decriminalized. 

As a point of comparison, alcohol was not always legal. The prohibition of alcohol between 1920 and 1933 initially reduced alcohol use and alcohol-related harm, but these benefits diminished over time as a black market developed to meet consumer demands. A review of arrest records indicates that prohibition had an immediate effect but no long-term impact on public intoxication. Moreover, Harvard University historian, Lisa McGirr, points out that prohibition had unduly adverse effects on African Americans, immigrants, and those with lower socioeconomic status. Law enforcement disproportionately policed these communities. Much like the war on drugs.  

Conversely, it was the legalization and regulation of alcohol, not its decriminalization, that helped America prosper. After the repeal of prohibition, the U.S. reduced criminal violence costs and accumulated billions from tax dollars, which were often earmarked for education, healthcare, addiction treatment, and prevention programs. What’s more, taxes reduce alcohol consumption, as they would similarly limit marijuana use. 

Cory Booker seeks to legalize marijuana and remove it from the Controlled Substances Act entirely. Booker has said, “It’s not enough to simply decriminalize marijuana. We must also repair the damage caused by reinvesting in those communities that have been most harmed by the War on Drugs. And we must expunge the records of those who have served their time. The end we seek is not just legalization, it’s justice.”

While those opposed to legalization argue that it would lead to increases in cannabis-related medical harms (e.g. pulmonary disease and psychosis), mere decriminalization also carries its own costs. Cannabis smokers will still primarily acquire their marijuana from unregulated and often violent drug cartels. Neighborhoods will still live in fear. Young people will still join gangs. Communities of color will still be over-represented in drug arrests. Only legalization will directly address these factors.

Upon legalization, preemptive policies can be implemented to mitigate the anticipated increase in marijuana use. With proper taxes, age restrictions, and prevention programs, society can reap the benefits of lower crime rates and less undue incarceration. To be sure, there is a cost to every solution, including legalization. However, decriminalizing marijuana will not decriminalize mental illness, and ignoring the societal cost of mass incarceration is more than we can continue to bear.  

Unfortunately, the issues of marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform were excluded from the Democratic Debates in December. As we approach the first primary votes, we can only hope that the American people will notice these omissions and take the initiative to continue this conversation. In Senator Booker’s absence, it will be up to the remaining candidates to pick up the torch and light the way toward reforming our criminal justice system.

Joshua Pagano, D.O. is a member of Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform. He is a forensic psychiatrist who specializes in competence to stand trial evaluations and the treatment of severe mental illness.