Building trust is my favorite topic to keynote on. Because no matter what, it’s the single most fundamental element to creating healthy communities of all types.
In corporate settings, the most vibrant cultures are found in organizations where colleagues know they can depend on each other. There is transparency between employees and their managerial team. And an intrinsic understanding that executive leadership will always strive to make decisions that are in the teams best interest.
In sports, one of the most important functions of a team is working together to achieve a common goal. I see it all the time as a sports broadcaster for the Kansas City Royals. Sure, there’s the players on the field. But there’s also the production team that I’m I part of. This includes the producers, editors and camera crew who make the behind-the-scenes magic happen. Even when, or more appropriately, especially when, live television throws us a curveball. I know they will do what it takes to deliver an outstanding show, whatever the challenges.
So when it comes to building trust within a social context, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that it applies just as much in business as it does in baseball, or anywhere else for that matter. It’s arguably even more important, because instead of individuals, you have to depend on systems themselves, the faceless mechanisms based on years of precedent. And for some communities, history is not in their favor.
In October, I was joined on my podcast Rounding the Bases by three civic health leaders. Chandra Clark is the former Executive Director of VHL Alliance and the current president of the Corey C. Griffin Foundation. Dr. Ahmad Garrett-Price is a Board-Certified family physician and founder of GP Health. Andre Davis is the Business Development Executive of Built.
The enlightening two-part discussion explored unique experiences in building trust. It focused on healthcare equity, something that should be a team-based sport. But for underserved communities, especially those of color, the reality is that oftentimes it just isn’t. I’m not an expert on the subject and will admit I’m always learning. My hope is that my audience is willing to keep learning as well, and that we can use the lessons from this interview to improve the quality of life for all.
SINGLE: Life and Death
Access to equitable care is critical to an individual’s overall health. But that definition is broader than being able to reach a care facility. Patients need providers who are culturally competent, which is an important first step to building trust needed for long-term patient-provider relationships. They also need to sense that the healthcare system truly wants to help from the inside out. But lived experiences has shown Dr. Ahmad Garrett-Price that this is not always the case.
“It can literally be the difference between life and death,” he stressed. Dr. Garrett-Price then went on to detail that health providers – and the care they deliver – directly impacts the quality and longevity of their patients’ lives. Treatment plans, awareness and the ability to deliver quality care to a diverse population creates what he calls a health arc. It has the power to change the trajectory of someone’s life, underscoring the importance of equitable care.
DOUBLE: Rare Inclusivity
The study of rare diseases is a rarity in itself. For patients seeking information on ailments that fit this definition, finding literature can be challenging at best. And what is available has been created with a general audience in mind, not persons of color or their unique needs.
It widens the knowledge gap and puts sick people at an even more pronounced disadvantage. “I recognized early on that we needed to really elevate our presence,” Chandra Clark said. She continued, “and really hold true to our commitment of reaching all patients from all backgrounds.”
At VHL Alliance, she was responsible for mobilizing the organization’s mission to provide diverse, equitable and inclusive support for people battling von Hipple Lindau disease. Its an extremely rare condition is associated with tumors arising in multiple organs. To promote this objective, Chandra first began building trust with patients and their families. She then started creating metaphorical collisions between them. The outcome was shared experiences that benefitted everyone, regardless of color, socioeconomic status or physical ability.
TRIPLE: Much Needed Change
As a person of color, Dr. Ahmad Garrett-Price has witnessed the inequities of the healthcare system first hand. As a practicing physician, he has made it his goal to fundamentally change them.
“We can put a lens on its importance to our society,” Dr. Garrett-Price told me. He then went on to detail the facts.
Americans lose $320 billion to inequitable health outcomes annually. It’s a figure that is projected to hit $1 trillion by 2040, and nearly 15% of it is simply from access – or lack thereof – to quality care.
Changing this was one of the motivating factors for founding GP Health, his practice designed to optimize health through prevention. But that alone won’t create the systemic change that is needed. “As human beings we really have to lean in to a more equitable way in which we see health,” he said. “Because it’s truly affecting people’s lives.”
HOME RUN: The Complexity of Healthcare
Bias is everywhere. It’s exclusive neither to healthcare nor to people of color. But for poor black and brown communities, where access to quality care has traditionally lacked, it brings a certain complexity that compounds into something crippling. And during the pandemic, the results were striking.
Telehealth appointments were encouraged – sometimes mandated – when Covid began sweeping the globe. Medical teams saw remote care as a way to minimize risk to patients and to themselves. But it assumed everyone who needed care had access to the technology required for a visit. Those who couldn’t engage in telehealth were often the same people whose jobs did not offer time-off benefits. They were left with a choice between work or a doctors visit, and the former usually took priority.
“Your healthcare is jeopardized because your income is more important,” Andre Davis said. He went on to explain, “Driving money into your house is what you need to keep the lights on.” So instead of seeking immediate care, doctor visits were put off until they became unavoidable. “You go in, they tell you something you already knew when you came. It’s going to cost money you don’t have. So then why even go?” he explained.
Andre is someone with access to care, but he still recognizes the enormity of the problem for those who don’t. “The onus should be put back on doctors” he said. “That’s the complexity of healthcare.”
GRAND SLAM: More Equitable Solutions
In Dr. Garrett-Price’s experience as a family physician, his patients of color were usually already sick by the time they came to see him. They were also jaded by years of precedent that did not put their care at the forefront. Providers were prescriptive, not collaborative. Doctors failed to be proactive in educating their patients. And treatment protocol was based on efficiency, not building trust. GP Health aims to change all of that, beginning with the basics.
Building trust can start in many different ways. Sometimes its outreach and asking patients about their home life. Do they need help with housing? Do they have transportation to a grocery store? Can they afford to buy any? Other times it begins with empathy, which is critical to understanding the human side of every patient. “Only 20% of a health outcome is clinical,” Dr. Garrett-Price told me. “The other 80% is based purely on who we are, where we are and social constructs.”
His solution to make care more equitable is moving his holistic model further upstream in underserved communities. “No one’s taking a different approach,” he said. “They were already thinking it’s a vicious cycle that continues until there is a poor outcome.” But most devastating fact of all is that it doesn’t have to be.
Learn More About Building Trust from Joel
Book Joel Goldberg for your next corporate event. He draws on over 25 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. In addition, he brings unique perspectives and lessons learned from some of the world’s most successful organizations. Whatever your profession, Joel is the keynote speaker who can help your team achieve a championship state of mind.
Joel Goldberg 0:18
Hey everybody welcome in to the latest episode of Rounding the Bases presented by Community America Credit Union: Believe in Unbelievable. Got a really fun, unique podcast today. Fun because the people that are involved, but also incredibly informative. I hope, I believe I’ve got a great roundtable discussion coming up. Quick shout out to my friends at Chief of Staff Kansas City. I know in Kansas City, they’re talked about all the time but but really an incredible resource locally and around the country. If you’re looking to hire, if you’re looking to place someone, they care about people, so check them out. Chiefofstaffkc.com, they care about culture, which is how and why I’m connected with them. I care a lot about so many of the issues that certainly involve all of us in this country, and from a business standpoint, from a leadership standpoint. And so just a little background A while back, my good friend, Andre Davis, and I started a panel and we talked about a lot of different issues involving race and some of those topics that maybe aren’t always so comfortable to speak about. It really led to Andre and I doing a lot of work in the DEI space with other businesses and and hopefully more to come as well, because it’s a relevant conversation. Certainly today, I think it’ll always will be relevant. But we can expand that out to so much more, especially when we’re talking about race, we’re talking about diversity, equity, inclusion, and we can hone in on specific elements that again, are going to affect every business, every workplace, the culture of those businesses, the way we communicate with each other, and so much more. And so the topic today is going to center around health equity. We may not hear that word enough, and certainly within the black community. And so I’ve got an amazing panel today that I would like to bring in. I mentioned Andre Davis, and he is once again with us, as well. And Andre is in Kansas City. Actually, as we’re recording this, we’ve got the country kind of spread out here. Andre is in Kansas City as we record this, I’m in Cleveland. Chandra Clark, who has been on our panels before is in Boston. And new to our mix, but going to provide an incredible perspective and a needed one today is Dr. Ahmad Garrett-Price, who can really hone in on the medical end of things. So the very simple question or greeting. Hello to all of you. How’s everyone doing?
Ahmad Garrett-Price 2:56
Chandra Clark 2:57
Ahmad Garrett-Price 2:58
Joel Goldberg 2:59
Alright, well identify all the voices in a moment by will, not by default. By necessity. We’re gonna let Chandra go first here. She didn’t want to, she was fighting it. But the big smile on her face, she’s gonna be good. Ladies first, of course. So Chandra tell us a little bit about yourself. I met you through Andre and back in Kansas City, you’re long gone. As a matter of fact, I had an incredible bowl of clam chowder in Boston recently sitting with Chandra. That was great. It was a good meal too and good to be able to actually meet in person for the first time. So many of us have never met in person. I look forward to doing that with Ahmad at some point too. Chanda, tell us about yourself and what you do.
Chandra Clark 3:37
So thank you again, so much for having me today. I am the Executive Director of the VHL Alliance. We are a nonprofit patient advocacy organization and we focus on advocacy for the rare disease Von Hippel-Lindau. I’ve been in nonprofit leadership for about 18 years. But I think what’s most important about the privilege that I have of serving in the nonprofits sector is that I am a true community advocate. So I look forward to our conversation today.
Joel Goldberg 4:12
Alright, let’s go next to our newest guest and Ahmad you bring that much needed medical perspective. As a matter of fact, we were talking football injuries right before we went on because you know, where Andre and I could just sit there and speculate. Chandra is sitting there saying I don’t care what you guys are talking about here. But you actually have that knowledge in that background. Tell us a little bit about your background.
Ahmad Garrett-Price 4:38
Yeah, so my name is Dr. Ahmad Garrett-Price. I am a board certified family physician in the primary care space over the last 15 years. Proud graduate of Morehouse College, UT Southwestern Medical School, have practiced at two of the largest health systems in the country. Out west at Kaiser Permanente, here in Texas at Baylor Scott and White. I’m currently founder and president of my own startup, it’s called GP Health. In its most technical form, we are a membership based technology enabled primary health service that takes a proactive preventative approach to health. And what that actually means is that instead of us waiting for people to get sick and disease, treating them with medication and surgeries, we actually want to prevent disease, teach people how to be healthy, give people access to care, right? To live these long, healthy, full lives. So that’s kind of who we are in a nutshell. I’m also a rare disease advocate. Met Chandra through her work with a VHLA, which we should give Chandra another extra shout out for the work that she’s done. My brother is a rare disease cancer survivor and Chandra has been a big part of our journey as a family and him as an individual. So want to give flowers when they are due here. So yeah,
Joel Goldberg 6:00
Love that a lot there too. And a lot that will go into I think the key word that I’m hearing there is access and we’re going to spend a lot of time on that. Andre, you always have such a, to me such a healthy perspective on the big picture of things. And I say that in so many ways, because and you and I’ve talked about this, so many times, you are as good of a networker and as well, as well plugged in, as anyone that I know. And oftentimes I see you at events, and you may be the only person of color there. You oftentimes to me look like the mayor. You know everyone, you’re, you’re connected with everyone. But yet, you know, you see that bigger picture too. You can live in any world. I’ve seen that. And I think the best networkers have that sort of ability to be a chameleon, and just fit in where they go. But I know it’s not that easy as well. And I think that’ll lend to a great perspective in terms of this discussion. But first off, not that anyone doesn’t know who you are. But now tell us a little bit about you.
Andre Davis 7:00
Well, it, look. It’s difficult to follow the doctor and then Chandra Clark, right? Those are, you know, when I hear about, you know, degrees and the things that go on, I’m just it’s it’s nice to be around really amazing company. And I will also get Chandra kudos, right? Because she is a she is a convener of people, right. And she understands the value of creating intentional collisions for shared purpose and outcomes. Right. And so that’s why we’re all here. A lot of my work has, has been around the for profit and nonprofit arenas. And so you’re right. I’m not a mayor, there’s, you know, I’m too clean to be a mayor, I think. In terms of things that, no, that job, just kidding. But no, I feel like, I’m a social foreigner, right? I feel like we need to be vocal for people who don’t have a voice. And so when you see me in these in these environments, and we’re moving around, that’s armed, right? That’s, that’s something that that just happened, it’s been, I’ve worked on that for a long time. And where I found, where I add value is a different perspective, a different lens. And so a lot of my work, even with my firm, that’s seven years old, although it’s an innovative construction technology, it’s at the end of the day, it’s about are we solving problems, right? And so I take that mentality over into the nonprofit world and go, what’s in your way. And what I’ve done over the last 25 years, is just tried to help companies get out of their own way to grow, drive revenue, deeper, deeper relationships. And so it’s no different when you go to the nonprofit world. And I am blessed, right. And I’ve worked hard. But I’ve also understood that when I go into those rooms where, you know, no one looks like me, can the people that hover in my arena, leave with a different perspective because I’ve shared a different perspective. And that at the end of the day is the more we know about each other. And it’s, it’s what you hear all the time, you know, we sort of all want the same things. But we don’t all understand each other’s perspective. And there’s sometimes that unwillingness to understand different perspectives. And so I’m a listener. Although I love to talk, as you can tell, I am a really good listener when I’m in a group because I’m trying to figure out what what is this person trying to do and what do they have there? And where do I play in that, in that in that piece, helping them get to where they want and that’s how Chandra and I came together. Because we worked in the nonprofit world and I was a board member and she was a part of it and she’s infectious. Right? And so you just want to, you gravitate. So there’s an energy about people and that’s where I tend to flock towards right? And so I love these discussions. I don’t know that I’ll add much you know, but I really want to listen in because I think Chandra, Ahmad are going to add in such a piece this is such a impactful topic, especially over the last year. So I can’t wait to get really forced to get it but I’m very happy to be with you guys today. And Happy Friday.
Joel Goldberg 9:58
Yes, Friday today but, any day of the week, when people get a chance to listen to this, the beauty of the podcast and a lot of what I love about this discussion to unless we think all these issues are going to be solved in fill in the blank amount of time. This is a discussion I hope that people can digest a week after the podcast comes out, a year after the podcast comes out. That’s the beauty of podcasts too. And so I want it before I go to, to the doctor in the house, I want to go to Chandra, because you’re really the one that did bring us together here. And it started sometime earlier this summer with really something as simple as a text message saying, hey, we need to do something again. But we’ve done a lot of different discussions, right? I mean, we, at least Andre, you and I Chandra. In in some of them, a lot of discussions about different topics all involving race, and a lot involving white advocates. And, and I’ll put some other topics, but now now we’re honing in a little bit on health equity. And certainly within the black community. Chandra, give me just a little bit of a feeling or a thought of why why this matter to you.
Chandra Clark 11:07
So I think I’ll start from the personal perspective of being a woman who’s in her mid 40s. And recognizing, being very career driven, right, which means that there’s a lot of stress that comes with that. So really having to go through my own process with taking a new role, relocating across the country, and really having to come to a realization that I haven’t been taking care of myself in the manner that I should, and that my health is at the core, right. But being a woman of color, and coming from a population of people who were marginalized and oppressed, I have recognized that I focus more in the Survivor Mode than a Thriving Mode. And so now having this professional responsibility I’ve really had to address how do I show up for myself? And how often are we talking about people of color, and how well they’re caring for their health at every angle. And then that translates to my work professionally, because I’ve spent most of my life advocating for others more so than myself, right. So addressing that neglect and self sacrificing that isn’t beneficial. But then also recognizing that I do have a responsibility, and not only caring for myself, but advocating for those who do not have a voice for themselves. And that even though DEI tends to be this particular topic, right for the past three or four years, we find that a lot of the people that are headlining those conversations are not from those communities. They are not people of color. And that when we are utilizing maybe resources where there are more people of color on the forefront speaking up, there’s still this gap there, because there’s still this assumption that people will somehow get it. And if you are struggling, and if you are oppressed, and if you are barely surviving in your day to day, how are you going to be able to put your health as a priority? If you are dealing with stress and depression and just disease and scarcity? Why would you want to put your health first? Because there’s still that that lack of hope there. So that’s what really brought me to say, hey, let’s get together because I think it’s important. One, Andre has always been this true advocate for people at every level. He’s been a supporter, whether it comes to mental health, whether it comes to professional but on a holistic level. And then you have Ahmed who represents, he is an advocate for his brother, but he is also a physician. And so he’s also under, he’s able to bring a different perspective. And I think at the end of the day, why I appreciate your work, Joel, is that it really is about people and human capital. And having those organic conversations that we leave our titles at the table. We leave our, you know, our egos at the table. And we’re really about how do we leverage our platforms for the greater good.
Joel Goldberg 14:33
So perfectly said. Because I think that we all, this is what I like about this panel. I mean, I knew going in and certainly had that great feel, just in getting a chance to meet Ahmad via Zoom, is that when you have four people or whatever the number is that are coming from the exact same place, you’re just hearing the same thing over and over again, right? So we’re hearing things from a lot of different angles. And Andre, you and I’ve talked about this many times. I’ve said that there is very little, that gives me more joy in things that I do. And I get to do a lot of cool things in and out of baseball, then moderating some type of panel involving some type of DEI. And I’m not a DEI expert. Or some type of issue involving race, as the one white person on stage. Or in these boxes where we’re talking right now, because my hope and thought is that, if I’m learning as I’m going, then maybe everybody that is listening is learning. And if it is a white audience, in person, or on the podcast, maybe they can relate a little bit more to me, whether that’s right or wrong. If it is a black audience, maybe they can see where I’m coming from, from a different end of things. So I think that when we have that type of representation, it it’s actually, I’m getting off topic, but I’ll go to Andre on this real quick. And then I want to I want to get, not that Ahmad can’t answer this too. But I think that we talked so much about representation, as we shoould, that it could also be easy to get into, say a DEI discussion or any of these discussions. And if everyone is of the same color, then you might have people in the audience saying, Well, I can’t relate or I’m being you know, I just think that we need that diversity of everyone involved, to be able to pull as many people as we can into that discussion, which I think Andre really is, is the essence of networking, isn’t it?
Andre Davis 16:34
Yeah. So, so I love what Chandra just said, right? I mean, I just have an appreciation for her perspective or vulnerability to say that right? Vulnerability is absolutely a leadership quality. And what I will tell you is, Joel, if you think about the last two years of doing this, we’ve done, this might be our 10th show together, right? We’ve done a lot of shows together. But think about the width, in which you understand the experience, the black experience. Think about what you’ve garnered from that, right? You need a chance to understand what it’s like to operate in the skin. And we get so trapped in diversity being this monolithic thing. It’s simply not right. It’s diversity of experience here, the way you are the white, the reason you are the way you are is because of your your experiences, your lived experiences, whether it’s black, brown, or indifferent. We as a people have a different path in this country, we know that. And when you’re when you’re always represented in any setting, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a doctor, a clinic, whatever that looks like, in academia. Whatever that is. You’re always seeing people who look like you. But when you look like us, the reason and this is, this is this what I am, right so the reason when people walk in that look like us, and we have nonverbal cues that people we throw our head up or we throw a hand up. It’s an acknowledgment that I see you. That I see you in this room, where you and I are not represented. Only by when you walked in are we represented as as people, right? So I think the ability to step back and learn about people. There’s resistance, and then there are some that, well, if I ask something, and I have been then I’m kind of out of link, right. And so we certainly have to, if you’re if you’re if you’re not of color, you got to be okay just listening. And then when someone tells you they’ve had an experience with something, I want you to, I want you to believe this. And let me say this real quick, and I’ll try to speed through this. I know a lot of law enforcement people. Two months ago, I was pulled over speeding. And I was speeding, right? And I haven’t had a ticket in 10 years. Leawood officer pulls me over. I do what naturally most people of color do, which is first you want to stop. That’s important stuff and they pull you over right? So I stop. Hands are where they are. He comes up to the car. White officer. Another office from side, it’s about 12:30 and running late for lunch. And he says like you were speeding. I go absolutely, absolutely was speeding. And he says can I see your license and I happen to have it in my pocket. And I did what everybody else does is of color, right? It’s in my pocket am I okay to get that wallet? And he says of course. So I got that he asked for the insurance. I said it’s in my glove compartment, am I okay to do that. He said, Of course you are. So I gave all that to him. He went back this car. He wrote me a ticket for $120. Okay. I thanked him, because you know what? I was speeding. In the lunch, I’m getting my phone blown up by a number I do not recognize. I later find out that this officer who happened to be white made an error. He had caught me when I was going, I was at a level in near Hallbrook, in, in Kansas City, Missouri. Very fluid area. And I was only going five miles over not 12 that he anticipated. So he tracked me down from my former employer, called my mobile asked me to call him, I called him back and he said, I made an error, you weren’t going 12 miles over, you’re gonna go on five, we’re gonna discard the ticket, you know. Discard this ticket. That experience allows me to operate with other law enforcement people that could treat me bad, and could treat me right. And say, it wasn’t law. It wasn’t the individual that treated me bad and did all these things, right. It’s no different with people of color. We all have experiences from bad human beings. And to me diversity is, is such a human experience, like CHandra talked about. It’s a human experience. We are sometimes unwilling to have the human experience from someone that looks like us, because it’s uncomfortable, and you’ve gotten uncomfortable a lot. So you have a better understanding of what it’s like for you and I to sit in a coffee shop, which we’ve done a number of times, and I will look at you and go look around the room. How many people look like me? And then we never have an answer for that, right. And so that perspective matters. When you work with your kids, you work into, you do anything in this country, it matters, because you can defend people that look like us and goes nope, that’s not been my experience. There are some amazing people of color you happen to meet one that is not right. It’s not the color. It’s the person.
Joel Goldberg 21:31
Powerful story too. And I have to say, nice to see that there was a happy ending to it. Because I think that we need, and by no means does your story say up, I guess everything’s good. But I think we need to hear about those little victories in those moments too, because they are out there. We, we understandably end up gravitating towards the negative. And quite frankly, those wouldn’t be out there as much if there weren’t video cameras nowadays. And so when we’ve talked about that before, and I’ll just, it’ll quit because people have heard me say before, Ahmed has not. But, but you know, my most powerful story was getting pulled over. I think it’s four years ago, at gunpoint, on a highway in the light of day, and somebody had swiped my plates off of my truck and flip flopped him with a stolen truck. So it registered there. But yeah, my reaction was totally different than what most of my black friends would be. It was in daylight. And and while my heart rate got going, when I saw the officer drawing his gun and getting out, my gut instinct was there must be a mistake. And so I think about that, and I like to tell people that all the time. Because if your reaction was mine, then you grew up differently, with different circumstances and a different perspective than perhaps our friends of color, whose immediate reaction was, I’m fearing my life. And so in my mind, even when they put the cuffs on, I said, sat there and thought, this is a misunderstanding, it’s gonna get worked out, versus Oh, my gosh, I’ve got to worry about my safety. I just think that that’s a powerful reminder and perspective that we can see things in different ways. And there’s a reason for it. Okay, I stopped. I didn’t stall. But but this is the way it’ll go. And it’s a good thing where these where these discussions go, who knows. But Ahmed, just curious, your your overall perspective, because you are in an industry that has always been predominantly white, yet you are caring for, I am imagining, people of all color, and you are seeing the way this all works from the inside. And I’d love to hear your perspective.
Ahmad Garrett-Price 23:36
Yeah, I think, you know, DEI, but also health equity is just important in its most basic fundamental element. And part of the reason I think we should emphasize it is that it can literally be the difference between life and death for certain communities when they access care, right? Whether there is a culturally competent provider, or physician and or system caring for them. So yes, it has to be intentionally designed that way from the very beginning. So for me, it really is based on personal experience and lived experience, data, right? This is the difference between life and death and quite honestly, quality of life and longevity when we’re talking about a health perspective, right? Or a health arc, if you will. So I’ve seen this play out and go different ways, right. And that’s part of the inspiration of GP Health is to design something that is more accessible and equitable in how we deliver solutions. I think. We also can put a lens on it’s important to our society. Health equity is important to our society, because if you look at it, it is costing this country $320 billion to have inequitable health outcomes. $320 billion. That number will increase to $1 trillion by 2040. I think It’s $42 billion in lost productivity because of health inequity. So I think Chandra hit on this and that it’s it’s, yeah, the health system should do this. Yes, GP Health needs to do this. But it really is this overall inclusive arc where we as human beings have to really lean into a more equitable way in which we see health, in which we deliver care. Because it is truly affecting people’s lives and their longevity. As as we move forward here. So
Joel Goldberg 25:31
I love on the on the website, on the GP Health website. It has from from you, Ahmad. My collective experience has led me to seek other impactful solutions to address the multifaceted healthcare dilemma. I look forward to exploring and deploying novel people-centered solutions to support sustainable healthy habits, disease prevention, and overall mental and physical well-being. I remain open to new ideas, concepts and partnering with individuals or entities who share a similar vision in doing so. We hope to make lasting, impactful contributions beyond the traditional interaction between patients and physicians. And so that, that that makes so much sense. It’s so perfectly said. But I know it’s so much easier said than done, certainly on the big picture, right? Because healthcare, as is the case with so many industries, is slow. Because traditional is easier, it puts more money in people’s pockets, and it does not provide for those that need it. Because and by the way that this is true, this is this is true for almost everybody. I mean, that the middle class, oftentimes can look at anyone at your your insurance bill and have no clue what it means. And you don’t know when you’re being, you know, taken from and on and on and on. I mean, no one understands the health system. So how monumental, and I, let’s hone back in, Ahmad, on, on the black community. And for those that are underprivileged may not be of color either. How monumental, the task is this to make healthcare equitable.
Ahmad Garrett-Price 27:16
You know, it’s a, it’s a big task in short. And that, and that’s why we need everyone participating. And so you hit upon a couple of points there. And we’ll support that with literature, data and evidence. So healthcare is a $4.5 trillion industry. We spend 90% of those dollars on clinical care. Clinical care, when you look at a whole health outcome, accounts for about 20% of that outcome. 30% is genetics. What do we think the other 50% is? It’s how we live our daily lives, or social constructs or socio economic status. What we have access and who we have access to. If you were starting a company, I said, Hey, we were going to invest 90% of the dollars on 20% of the outcome, we would not get too far. But at the same time, that’s how this industry is situated. That’s how things are paid for. So that’s the facts and data and literature, right. Not to mention that there’s total deemphasis on these DEI efforts, but also just including health equity and how we designed care. So when you look at that, you say, Okay, we need to design more equitable solutions that are focused on this other 80% That’s not even being touched. Because, again, it can literally be the difference between life and death, quality of life and longevity, right. And that circumvents on so many levels when we talk about screening, when we talk about prevention, and how important that is to actually mold these into the models that we’re we’re building. I’ll use a example, all right. For a second I actually recently did a podcast is one of the leading health equity voices that we have in our space. It’s Kaakpema Yelpaala. 42 year old black male diagnosed with prostate cancer. Now the guidelines say we don’t screen for prostate cancer until you were 55. Those clinical trials obviously are based on those who are not adversely affected with this particular disease. So you can start to see me, as an African American male, as a black male, have to have systems designed that take into account my overall health issues and health art, or else we can have negative outcomes and that’s a distinct example. What if he waits to at least 55 to get screened? Will he even make it to 55 because this was found at 42. So you start to see these very, not so nuances, differences in outcome and longevity and how these things really play into design and how we should facilitate health care. So it’s a macro level issue. And it’s a powerful issue because what it does is Chandra said, right? If there’s no help, there truly is no wealth, and not just from a fiscal perspective, from raising your family, being present for your family, being present for your community. And all of these things help these communities build in progress, and not just progress, but also thrive. So it is really the difference in, to me, in a community thriving and not thriving, right. And having a construct that is healthy, that is designed specifically for them. And so that it brings in all of these other topics and nuanced ways of how we go about it, right. Like Andre, when we talk DEI, we think inward and outward, right? So we think inward. In our companies, we need to be intentional and have a workforce and leadership and decision makers and stakeholders who actually reflect these communities, right, that we are attempting to serve. But on the outward side, that’s not enough. And that we have to be in those communities, we have to co create the solutions with these communities. Because the value really needs to be defined by the communities who are receiving the actual care. So again, it can literally and I think, has a physician. And I should also say I’m a second generation physician, shout out to my dad. He’s a, he’s an internal medicine physician, primary care. So in our family, we were well aware of health disparities before COVID happened. And COVID is just a macro level example for everyone to see that, hey, there can be a real difference in longevity, quality, like morbidity and mortality, as we call it, when you’re in an inequitable situation. And we should not just certainly for our bipoc, African American black communities, but also for our Latino brothers and sisters as well. They were hit very hard by COVID. And a lot of that is just built in to inequity within a system that’s been there for decades, to be quite honest with you. So some of these things are not surprising when we see them. And so it literally, I keep going back to the can be the difference between for an African American, for black male, for black female, the difference between life and death. And I’ve seen that through personal experience, lived experience. And we can also kind of talk through that as well. Because there are certain things that we can do and that we can design that will start to disrupt some of this if you will.
Joel Goldberg 32:37
I lost you guys there for one second. That was me. But I think I think my finger hit like the sleep button. We’ll edit that out. And we’ll find
Andre Davis 32:44
You were good. You were good. Dr. Price didn’t miss a beat.
Joel Goldberg 32:48
Good. And so we’ll pick it up right there, that easily edited out. But I went to hit a thing for the time and I think I think my fingerprint, just shot I’m like, oh my god, everything’s gone. And then I’m like, oh, wait a minute, we’re still here. Anyway, he was not gonna.
Andre Davis 33:04
Dr. Price didn’t miss a beat. He kept he kept moving like its not happening.
Joel Goldberg 33:07
He could do live television.
Andre Davis 33:08
That’s a professional too.
Joel Goldberg 33:09
Yeah, yeah. Okay, I’m gonna pick it up right there, because we’re gonna wrap up this this half, and then we’ll continue it. Just real quick, because I want to start the next episode. Part two, digging a little bit deeper on the pandemic, too, in terms of health equity. Based on what Ahmad just said, do either of you guys have anything you want to follow up on?
Chandra Clark 33:31
Yeah, I want to follow up on something. I’ll set you up with it. But okay, what Ahmad said was excellent. And so I really want to follow up, actually tagging back on what you and Andre said about your experiences with law enforcement, because I think both of them represent the systems that are in place. And I think that this, I want to revisit that. This is an important topic because it comes down to choice. So in Andre’s situation, he made the choice to have a different perspective, through that experience. Joel, through your situation, you began to open up and say, Oh, now I know what this is like. And so when Ahmad talks about life and death, that really is, it’s so important that we empower our communities to know that they have a choice. Because if they are, if they are educated to believe that the systems will block them, then they will not make the choice to have life.
Joel Goldberg 34:29
Well said. Well said. Now you’re gonna say it for real, so pick up with me right here. Okay, so here we go. Chandra, I see you chomping at the bit to jump on in. What are you thinking?
Chandra Clark 34:44
So I am thinking that what Dr. Price said was so powerful because it really aligns, Joel, with the stories that you and Andre shared about your experiences with law enforcement. So for Andre is a black man he made the decision through his recent experience, to say that I can now see law enforcement through a different lens because of that lived experience. And Joel in the same facet, you also begin to open your eyes as a white Jewish man, through your experience to say, now I have a better understanding of what my friends of color may have endured. And so I think as we revisit why health equity is an important topic, and Joel, you told me this when we had lunch. It comes down to choice. So Dr. Price is right on point when he says life or death. So when I go back to my personal experience of recognizing that even though I may have a certain income level, have these certain career experiences, I still systematically have not been making the choice for life. I have systematically been surviving through oppressive systems that are in place that I wasn’t aware of. And so if we don’t educate our communities, that they do have the choice to choose life, then that continues the problem. So it’s not enough, you know, when Ahmad, and thank you for the stats on the trillions of dollars, and all of the percentages of how different communities are affected. If you have been struggling for centuries and years and years, why would you make the choice to be any different? And I think it’s so important that we start with the basic knowledge of you do get to choose and here is why.
Ahmad Garrett-Price 36:41
Can I jump in there, just kind of add something because Chandra was hitting on a, on a great point here. And, you know, again, there was actually a recent study, I want to say it was done, I can’t remember exactly where it was Prin- or Princeton. But this concept of activated patient, right. And so in healthcare, and I’ll just kind of fill you guys in. When I’m in med school, when we’re getting ready to be doctors, we have these visits with what we call standardized patients. And these standardized patients are designed to basically trip us up in some cases like, Hey, did you check this? Did you check that? So it’s a patient but not a real patient and you are going in for a mock visit, right? So they did this study amongst bipoc communities, and they sent patients in who were unengaged, not necessarily informed. And they went to that visit. And they saw that more implicit bias, occurred, occurred during that visit. When they reprogram these activated patients and sent them in asking questions, knowledgeable, participating on their own health, right, they saw that there were ways to start to disrupt these constructs and bias. And if you think about it, it makes sense. If you walk in a room and somebody’s biased towards you, and it just happens, if you will, well, if you are knowledgeable and participating to a certain degree, with your physician in your care, right. And this is why health literacy is so important. It’s not that we will completely get rid of systemic racism. It’s not that we’re completely getting rid of implicit bias. It’s more of, hey, I can start to change this just a bit in my own favor. And I kind of, even with my own brother’s experience, with his with Von Hippel-Lindau, I remember going to his first visit. And I was like, you know, I’m not the doctor that goes in the room and says, I’m a doctor and does all this stuff. I just kind of let people do their thing I do.
Andre Davis 38:45
I know I would. I’ve used that. I’m gonna say it.
Ahmad Garrett-Price 38:47
Yeah, well, I did. And I saw how that visit went. And I remember looking at my brother, I remember looking at his face, because he was being talked to and talk at and directed and told what he was going to do. And this is how we will do it. And I, bein’ a healthcare professional understand that that’s not how that’s supposed to go. So immediately after that visit, I wasn’t necessarily mad at him, but I looked at him. I was like, he doesn’t quite understand what’s happening here. So I took a step back and said, Okay, I’m going to educate him on what’s happening here. And I did, and I said, we’re going to go with questions. We’re going to go with concerns. We’re going to understand what we’re doing. And we’re going to get a prognosis and a plan that fits the more standard plan, if you will, the surveillance. And that to me completely changed the arc of his care. And we started showing up and had questions and wanted to know things when we were advocating for yourself. And same in the case that I tell you about prostate cancer, you had to have a a trusted relationship. Be the moment I got that call from my friend. It was like look, this is prostate cancer, this is what you need to ask. This is what you need to do. Now, I should also stop and say that it should not always be the job of that community, of that person to have to go into these forms and have to be personal self advocates for themselves. But we understand that that is the construct of which we’re working in. The goal should be that no matter who we see whether that’s a black physician, white physician, and anything in between, that we should receive equitable care no matter what the environment is, and who’s delivering care. But Chandra hits upon a great point, and that we need to highlight the importance of a health literacy. And also this concept of being a what we call it. I don’t like using this word patient anymore, but just an activated individual when you are in these healthcare settings, because that can start to disrupt this construct that we see.
Joel Goldberg 40:55
There’s a lot there. And I want to continue this discussion in the second part of this podcast. So anyone that’s listening to it, as it’s coming out, just wait a couple of days. And we’ll have part two out because I think there’s so much there. I can tie a link too, the way Andre felt after getting that phone call from the from the police officer afterwards, to a lot of what Ahmad is is talking about as well. You have generation’s, lifetime’s worth of being told or or feeling like it was one way. And until you are made aware that it can be another way or have that experience, or can communicate and educate through that, it’s going to continue the same way. Even if everything is the way it should be. And those resources are there. When you’ve been told the whole, you know, your whole life from the time you can remember as a kid, that your life might be on the line when you’re being pulled over by a cop or that you’re not supposed to ask questions to your doctor. And this is just the way it is, just do it. That’s that’s not something you turn around overnight. So I think I know we’re onto something there. I want to dig deeper on it. But let’s let’s wrap up this episode. We will continue it on the next episode of rounding the bases. And so to all of you, Ahmad, Andre and Chandra, thank you. We’ll keep this going. Appreciate all the perspective.
Chandra Clark 42:15
Thank you, Joel.
Andre Davis 42:17
Ahmad Garrett-Price 42:18
Thank you, Joel.
Joel Goldberg 0:00
Welcome into Rounding the Bases presented by Community America Credit Union: Believing Unbelievable. It’s the podcast about culture and leadership with a baseball twist. And we’re talking about health equity, part two of an incredible roundtable discussion. Again, as always, a quick shout out to my friends at Chief of Staff Kansas City chiefofstaffkc.com. If you’re hiring, looking to hire, looking to be placed, phenomenal resource, I highly encourage you to check them out. But I want to get right back to my esteemed panel. As we continue this robust discussion, if you did not hear the first episode, I highly encourage you to do that as we are joined, once again by Dr. Ahmad Garrett-Price, Chandra Clark and Andre Davis. When we wrapped up the last episode, we were talking about not just health equity, but a trust and a belief that that you deserve, that you have the rights to to be able to take care of yourself in a matter of life and death. You should be asked, I mean, Ahmad had a really powerful story about about his brother and not knowing to ask these questions, to expect what maybe those of us with privilege expect from our doctors, and we have so many unique perspectives here. Let’s see we went ladies first last time with Chandra. So let’s do that again. And Chandra, you you know working in the nonprofit world and working with with rare diseases. I’m just curious, your perspective on so much of what what Ahmad said and and how we kind of move forward.
Chandra Clark 1:58
So I think what I really learned in my role at VPL Alliance is, you know, the rare disease community is a rarity in itself. So you find that a lot of the literature in the educational tools and resources, there are still limitations to what is geared towards communities of color and underrepresented communities. And I think in my particular role, I recognized early on that we needed to really elevate our presence, and really hold true to our commitment of reaching all patients from all backgrounds, regardless of their color, socioeconomic status, physical ability that have been impacted by VHL. And that actually led me to meeting Ahmad’s brother Kwame. So I remember that Kwame got connected to the VHL Alliance through supporting our federal advocacy efforts. And in full transparency, I saw the name on an email and I said, I think that might be a person of color. I want to reach out to them. And so I didn’t know it, you know, didn’t know anything else. I remember reaching out saying, Hey, can we do an intro meeting? And he called me, gets on a call and we just became great friends. And I was one so touched because he was the first black male that I met with VHL, right. And so, in a sense, it was concerning to me. But at the same time, you know, I have to be mindful that this is a rare disease. But when I think about my responsibility as the executive director of this organization and mobilizing our mission, right, to really provide diverse, equitable and inclusive support and resources, that stood out to me. And I remember just immediately our conversation being whatever you need, VHL alliance is here for you. And thankfully he had the benefit of having a brother and a father who was a physician and his brother helping to organize his treatment plan. But what about the 1000s in the millions of communities out there that don’t have that?
Joel Goldberg 4:29
Yep. Right. And think about the fact that Ahmad had to help steer Kwame in the right direction. And Kwame, based on, I’m guessing what you have already talked about Ahmad, he grew up with a father that was a physician. He has a brother that’s a physician. So if anyone is going to know, regardless of color, it’s probably going to be Kwame. But yet, there’s still that generations full of influence there, right?
Ahmad Garrett-Price 5:01
Yeah, you’re exactly right. And we have reflected, trust me, amongst like, as brothers, because he’s also my best friend. But we have reflected on several inflection points in his care where, and that’s why I say it’s literally life and death. I was like, Whoa. It hits you. And first of all, it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done to be his brother, but also be, and that’s another podcast, and be there knowing, you know, what I know about the illness, about what it could do, etc. But there were, there have been many points along this journey where we’ve said, hey, if we wouldn’t have done this, or if we wouldn’t have activated this, we may have a completely different outcome. And it’s like, four to six branch points. And you’re exactly right. We say, Okay, what about all the other guys that look like you, talk like you, in this environment? And I was like, Yeah, I’ve been practicing medicine for 15 years. And this is one reason it’s one out. So I was like, imagine me observing this for the last 15 years. Right. So you know, I’m saying, and that is why I, you know, honestly took on his care after that first visit, because I did not trust that we were going to get the outcome that we needed. So that’s why I made that decision. And I knew it would be difficult. And I think is my, actually my first time expressing this honestly, Joel. But that was part of the reason I took this on. And I was like, what’s the, what’s the point of having this knowledge and this insight and this intelligence if we can not use it here? So you’re exactly right. And Chandra hits upon another salient point, in that there has to be some intentionality. And what we’re doing here, there has to be an intention, right? When we shoot a free throw, I know you’re a baseball guy, we’re trying to make a shot into the basket. If we want health equity, if we want diversity, equity, inclusion and clinical trials, right, we have to go with the end target in mind. And it’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. So I’ll use that example again, where it’s that metric to Chandra’s point when we think about VHL. First of all, as a doctor, when you’re in med school, they tell you, this is how surreal it was. They tell you, Oh, this is a rare disease, you’ll never see it. And you, you move on. And here it is in my own family. And it’s, I don’t think I know any other African Americans with VHL. I know they exist, but it is it is one of those diseases literally we learn about but won’t actually see. So that was a novelty in and of itself. But I say that, to say that, imagine if we had a study of, you know, 300,000 black men, right, on prostate cancer. The screening diagnosis probably wouldn’t be the age of 55. Because the average time, the average age in which a black male develops cancer is in his early 40s. So Chandra hits, I mean, I’m just really being technical now. You see what I’m saying? How diversity and clinical trials can literally save somebody’s life. Right? And so, being intentional and how we design and also including everyone in this solution is of the utmost importance.
Joel Goldberg 8:00
Andre jump in on this because I think I’m waiting. You know, I mean, like, like me, you and I don’t have the perspective that Chandra and Ahmad do coming from different ends of the medical field. And I include Chandra in that, yet you’re listening to this. I know your mind is running, hearing so many of Ahmads personal experiences to going through it with a loved one. What are you thinking?
Andre Davis 8:33
Many, many thoughts and we would need to do four podcasts to get everything ironed out. I love, I love that Dr. Price talks about the advocacy, sort of where we are in this country with health care, right? The onus should be put on the physicians and the health systems to not let that happen to Kwame, right. It shouldn’t take a brothers or a physician’s brothers physician who has a brother right to advocate for him. The doctor should be able to articulate that. Here’s what you’re going to experience. Here’s what we think we ought to do together. Here’s some routes we can take. But here’s what happens in poor communities. Black, brown, indifferent. We know that there is bias in every system, right? And Dr. Price talked about the construct that we all have to work within. When you’re not challenging the doctor or anything you’re prescribing. Then that doctor says okay, let’s just get him fixed. And we’ll move on to the next patient. Right? And so there’s this quick, quick, quick. Let’s go to the next thing. Let’s be people, but you’re not taking the kind of time that you need to take with patients that are poor, that oftentimes don’t have insurance. And let’s also talk about the generational gap that exists with health care, which means to say that if you’re in a poor community, black and brown, typically we see this in those communities, right where the access to care, good health care, oftentimes, and it was exacerbated in the pandemic. You couldn’t do a telecall, you couldn’t do a telehealth call, you don’t have technology. You couldn’t take off from your job, because in those communities you’re working with, in, within jobs that don’t allow you to do that. So your healthcare is jeopardized. Because your income is more important, because driving money into the house is what you need to keep the lights on and your healthcare is going to suffer. So when I do go, the symptoms are already worse. There’s no preventative medicine, you’re just trying to figure out how do we get you healthy enough to go back home, maintain your family and do your things. The onus should be put back and should be put on, there are some decisions that are amazing. And I’m sure I’m sure Dr. Price has an amazing bedside manner. I think it’s personal, it is personal for him. So he’s not gonna just scoot out of and in and out of patient room to speed up and get through the day. He’s going to spend the necessary time with his patients. And we don’t have that happening probably as regular as we may think, especially with poor communities. And if we don’t have the knowledge to challenge, why would we challenge we already have a feeling about what healthcare is for black and brown communities, right? You go in, they’re going to tell you sometimes what you already knew when you came, it’s going to cost you money to do that. We’re going to prescribe medicine, which you can’t afford. So then why do I go? If I don’t have access to any of those things, then I’m better served just managing and doing what I have to do and staying sick. And I’m not going to ask because no one’s advocating for me. So there’s this, this such, this is such a big problem. And I looked at it from a purview that in the pandemic, where my family, right, we had access to all the immunizations and things like that. We got our shots, we did, we had TeleDoc called we had access to it. If I’m in a poor community, in Kansas City, what we recognize in the pandemic that we’re talking about, in the pandemic, what we recognize is even our kids, right, when they got sent home that many of our kids in the urban schools had no access to technology. And so a lot of what school systems had to do was Park buses in neighborhoods because the buses had Wi Fi and allow those kids the access Wi Fi. If the kids don’t have Wi Fi, that means the parents don’t have Wi Fi so there’s, you can’t go anywhere. And then you talk about transportation being a hiccup. Well, how do I get there, then? How do I go get my shots to get vaccinated? And then what, how do I feel about vaccination? Man, there’s so much we can talk about that prevents, that prevent poor communities from accessing care. And it’s not just our current generation. It is so generational, that even when I talk to people of color, but hey, man, you get your, you get your vaccine? Oh, no, you know what they did back in the day? I know. But that was like 80 years ago, but we’re here now. And I got my shot. And so there’s still that and that transfers down to other generations. So this is such a big, I have a mother that 77. I advocate for her health all the time. Now she’s stubborn. She’s from New York side, man. So she super stubborn. But I’ll challenge her head. You go to this doctor? No, I’m thinking about going next week. No, we need to go and get that done this call right now I’m here, you have your phone. Let’s do that. So we have to we have to advocate for our seniors. But we also have to set the stage that we’re going for preventative care, right. So we have some things that we have to do as a black and brown community to the goal. Are we getting our checkups at 55. But at 42, I was asking for prostate and things like that in my 20. Because I was trying to be preventative. And I wanted to be, I wanted to be a promoter of black rights. I cared about my health and still do. Not many people and there’s a fear factor too, right? So if your fear of what you might learn in the visit, and you can’t afford to mitigate that, then you don’t go. So there’s just there’s such a gumball myths of this, but it is. But that’s the complexity that is healthcare when you’re trying to access it.
Joel Goldberg 14:11
Right. And I think about a lot I think about, I often will see the image, at least, my observations. If, if I am in the black community, if I am in a store in the black community, if I’m at a gas station, whatever it is, and I’m in, you know, every neighborhood around Kansas City and actually lobbying in my previous jobs. I was in every type of neighborhood because in my early work, I was always covering the high school sports. It was one of the greatest privileges of my career and one of the most eye opening things because I could go into the, you know, the school with a million dollar homes one day and through the metal detectors the next and never thought twice about it and that’s a good perspective to have to see the way that people are living and that there are differences and it is healthy to go to go to the other side of the tracks, so to speak, whatever that means. It is healthy to be different than everybody in the room or are standing in that store. And I’m always amazed in the last year, two years, really, that will often often comes when you go into the black community. In a parking lot by a store, you will see more at this point more masks than anywhere else, which unless I’m reading it wrong, tells me that these are people that decided not to get the vaccine, but they’re doing their best to take care of themselves and stay healthy and avoid it. Now we all know, medically and scientifically, there’s a lot of politics that went into this, which is a totally different discussion, that the vaccine is going to save lives, the vaccine is going to keep us out of the hospitals, the vaccine is going to keep from inundating the hospitals on and on. And I’m right. But if you don’t have the trust, and it’s as Andre talked about, 80 years, or whatever it is, I’m saying wait a minute that it never took care of us before. I don’t want to be the test on this one. And then if you can’t afford to get in to get that health care, then what are you going to do? They’re not they’re not anti-vax, they’re just trying, again, life or death as Ahmad talked about. So how do we bridge that gap? Because within the black community within the community, of people of color, there’s a lack of trust within the government. But at the same time, we could save lives here. How do we? How do we get there?
Ahmad Garrett-Price 16:36
You know, I like what Andre said a lot, because it really brought me back to why I actually started GP Health and why we started our company, is that we understood that when we were seeing people, especially, you know, those from bipoc communities, they were already sick, they were already this is just going to be a vicious cycle until quite honestly, there’s a poor outcome. So you’re exactly right, Andre, and I just wanted to say that in that this proactive, preventative approach and moving further upstream is what communities of color need. It’s we’re not sick, because we don’t have enough insulin. It’s because we don’t have enough, right education and health literacy. And no one’s taking a different approach. And that’s the definition, right? It’s taking a different approach for the desired outcome. But, Joel, you’re exactly right. Trust is a it’s a core tenet of GP Health. But also if you’re trying to infuse DEI and health equity, you know, to me trust is is is is everything, right? Before any therapeutic or really any relationship, if you think about it, commences, there’s got to be trust. And to earn trust, you have to be there. You have to be in these communities, there has to be a outreach, you need to have a presence, right. Bernard Tyson, who led Kaiser Permanente until his untimely passing, maybe four or five years ago, and that was kind of their right, of what I do. And Kaiser is like, well, they’re in the community, they’re there, they’re visible, people can see them. They may deliver groceries, they may do sustainable housing, right? Again, only twenty, only 20% of a health outcome is clinical, the other 80% is who we are, where we are, social constructs. So we have to be that and live that and be present. Second, there’s got to be empathy. Meaning that I care about you, brother, sister, him, she, they, everybody. I’s just a basic human thing. Like I understand you, you understand me, now we can work together. And then for Chandra, designing with the end in mind, cross sectional partnerships, partnering with community organizations, right? Not just saying, Hey, I’m a health care organization, well, let me go partner with a organization in that community,that that community respects. Let me be visible, let me let my dollars, if you will, do the talking. And also my social equity, do the talking here. Right. And also, access, right. And Andre is correct, not just who we have access to, I’m sorry, not just having access, but we have to have access to folks who are knowledgeable about the issues that exist, right because there’s two layers. I see this differently is like, because you can have access and still get a bad outcome. It’s kind of cool and once you have access to and then you know, that is really, to me, how you start to bridge the gap. Right? Think about it as somebody’s trying to penetrate your personal well, your personal world. They have to have to show you right and earn that trust to be in that space for sure. And lastly, but certainly not least, but set goals much like we would do anything else. We have to set goals and we have to measure these, measure the outcomes like are we being effective in our efforts so
Joel Goldberg 19:52
There’s so much there and you know, as I process it all, Chandra, you you’ve heard me say this before. It’s, it’s not profound, but I just think it’s it’s a, it’s a great way to describe it. Life is hard for everyone, all right. Not not sure even a billionaire has to deal with something, but their climb is not as steep as as others, right. And my climb at times might feel steep. But as I said to you Chandra, as, as a woman of color, you’ve always had to walk up a steeper hill. And so we can fill in the blank for any of these discussions. And if you start adding up, all of the extra effort that someone of color, someone in a poor community, or all of the above has to go through, the hill is much steeper, and you may not get off the bottom level. And that’s what people are dealing with their whole life. So if we take this into a bigger picture here, and talk about the pandemic, and maybe you don’t have access to the vaccine, or maybe you do have access to the vaccine, but you don’t trust it, or maybe you do trust it, and you do have access to it, but you’re not aware of it, because the communication is not there. And oh, by the way, you’re trying to as Andre said, keep the lights on, and you’ve got to get to work, which means that your kids don’t have anyone at home to watch them, work from home hybrid working, that’s probably not available. Okay, there’s no Wi Fi. So how are your kids getting educated? Who is watching them? Oh, by the way, they’re eating really poor food, because the only food available in the neighborhood might be a convenience store, or fast food and hey, a cheap meal is better than no meal at all, when it comes to putting the, so on and on and on. Right? I mean, I’ve just talked about five or six things, not 50 things that have the hill getting steeper and steeper and steeper. I’m curious your perspective on it, Chandra. And so much of what Ahmad was saying there because we we do all have to work together. I think that trust piece, it’s my favorite topic to talk about just in, in building teams and and building cultures. It also trust involves community.
Chandra Clark 22:04
It does. And I think also, hope is what I think of. So I think if you, if you look at it, I kind of do things in three different buckets. So one, I think the responsibility of instilling the message of hope. And it is it through hope that you open up people to be receptive to the education. So as Ahmad talked about, it’s not just the access, its the education. And it’s educating them on the fact that they can make the choice to be the first in their family to break a generational cycle. So I tell everyone who knows me, I am a southern girl, I am proud of my Creole heritage from Lake Charles, Louisiana. And I grew up with my mama and my papa. So my grandma and my grandfather, and I remember my grandfather having high cholesterol, my papa age boiled eggs every morning with bacon, okay. Greasy, greasy bacon. He died of a heart attack. I remember my mama would send me down the street to the lady who had the candy store in her home every day to buy her candy. My grandma died of diabetes and had lost both of her legs by the time she passed. And I remember going to doctor’s visits. And I just also remember my mom telling me that she knew that my grandmother was not having the proper care. But we were in Louisiana. And we lived on one side of the town. And there were only certain hospitals that we could go to, and there was only certain care she could receive. And so I come again from a population of people were systemically like we are a true, my family, true Louisiana. So true, you know, has a story about everything. You can’t go across the street, because something happened there 100 years ago, you can’t go to this store, you can’t go to that store. And so even as I reflect on my parents now and how they care for themselves, systemically just carrying that same legacy, right. But I think you talked about access, you also have to talk about exposure, Joel, because it’s through my conversation with you, its through my conversation with communities that are not people of color that helped me move out of the mindset of woe is me. Right? Because again, if you’ve been dealt these cards where it seems that the whole system and the whole world is against you, why would I show up for myself? Why would I make the choice to change the way I eat or to go to routine visits. Why would I make that choice? This is just the way it is. But when you can engage in those organic human conversations that we all have a story, we all have pain, we all have struggle. And yet we all have a choice that we can create new legacies for our families and future generations. That comes down to hope. Education, and then access, in my opinion.
Joel Goldberg 25:27
Yeah, well, Andre, jump in.
Andre Davis 25:31
Let me, let me, let me throw a little few things out, too. I love I love all that. I think the folks that are watching, I think we have to also acknowledge that if we’re bringing up what the challenges are, right? There are organizations that are stepping in and helping some of that, you know, we in Kansas City, and I won’t name them, but there are organizations every Wednesday, that are giving away, you know, food. And healthy foods. There were systems in Kansas City that have implemented for the first time ever, diversity, equity inclusion professionals into the system, where they’re changing who your vendor is, who your suppliers are, the outreach is different. There are foundations that are also reaching out to those people that are at high risk in terms of healthcare issues. And so there is work happening. And then what triggers me for that is because Andre, Chandra and Dr. Price talk about community. It affects everything, right? If you’re if you’re not healthy, there’s so much that is affected, how you think, when you do drive, are you under the influence not of alcohol, but deprivation of what you fill in the line? Right? And there’s so many things that we have to think about, and what are the triggers? And what are the outcomes from people being under the influence, because they’re not healthy behind the vehicle, driving our kids to school, and above, flying aircraft, all these other things that we don’t think about. But there are organizations that are really trying, and we just need to understand and what I what I when I talk to CEOs and coach people and do all this work, right? One of the things I always ask them is, don’t let your data be your emotions. Let the data be the the data, go off the data, let the data if you look over the last two years, of the people of the deaths that happened from COVID, high percentage were black and brown and poor communities. Because when they went into systems and said, I think I have COVID. They go well, no, you probably don’t. Use premium to go home and rest. Right? There was that and there was no advocacy. So if we looked at the data, and we let them, we let our data drive that it would be different. And there’s what I hear. And here’s the juxtaposition. Right? So then if we flip that, and we said, what if in this country, there was data that came out, that said that there were a whole bunch of white people that were getting COVID and being turned away from hospitals. The system may change. Right? It’s always different when it’s, when it’s a different demographic, right. And so we have to look at those biases. Biases are in every different, in every industry. They exist in America. And we have to acknowledge and I think there are systems that are there, are organizations that are acknowledging that in trying to do the work. But this is not a black or brown thing. It’s an every one thing we you know, doctors have to be at the table. When they stay still in brown and black come in and ask about what what is your environmental situation? Right. Right. Tell me about how you live. You know, what, what part of the city do you live in? If you look even at the part of cities where black and brown communities, you would see most of those communities live or run industrialized businesses. You don’t see suburbs where you have an industrial plant three miles away. There is an environmental factor that affects health care that we haven’t even gotten into yet that we could talk about in what is that doing access to clean water? We could talk about that. What is that doing to my ability to be focused for a set a set amount of time. There is, it is pretty damn unbelievable. When you think about how, and then we and then we wonder, while the wh- in poor communities? Why aren’t they performing well in school? Well, if you had horrible water to drink, and you had horrible food, you probably wouldn’t perform well either, right? And so but we just don’t, and that and that gets to the bigger part what we talked about in beginning the show, which is what we just took time to understand as a doctor, Dr. Price. But if we understood that go, tell me about where you live. And then tell me about your home and a little instance like that, where you show the empathy and care you go. Well, tell me so when is the last time you had, you know, vegetables and things in your diet? And what was that? You know, we just took that care and then made sure we had resources from a system perspective that I just had a patient, they have no vegetables have no access to this. What could we do from a systems perspective that help this family and now, to me is where the healthcare needs to go. Is addressing that we’re starting to see that in the mental health arena a little bit where systems are bringing in health, mental health professionals. It’s not widespread yet, but that I think that’s where it’s going to hit.
Ahmad Garrett-Price 30:15
Agreed Andre, and we do that at I want to say like, we do that at GP Health. Like lives a lot. And that’s where people that care starts to mold in a really personalized treatment. That’s where we think care should go as well. So I’ll back you as a health professional, like my questionnaires. Yeah, I want to know your medical, family, social history. I also need to know where you live. Also want to know what you have access to. I also want to know, what do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Are you sleeping? Right? Can you pay your bills? Because those are actually the things are going to affect how we care for you. Right? And if so we need to support that. And it’s not the sole job of GP Health to do that. But we need to take those factors into account and build out the resources to connect those to when those issues come to bear. Because those are actually, right. We call them key drivers of health. Those are the things that determine whether folks are going to be healthy or not. So sorry, I just had to chime in Joel, he said some good stuff.
Joel Goldberg 31:12
It’s great. And this all gets back to a couple of really important words that you all have us trust. Empathy, I’ll add in curiosity is something too, because when you’re curious about someone, it leads to greater empathy, I refer to empathy as walking in someone else’s shoes, you can’t be empathetic and walk in their shoes without being curious. And you can’t build trust until you kind of live in their world a little bit. Once all that happens, that’s how you build successful teams. That’s how you build good communities. And so I mean, to me, that’s what’s going on. I this is this is not there’s not there’s nothing involving race here. Not that there needs to be but you know, my wife and I switched over to direct primary care a handful of years back and as someone that doesn’t have insurance, because I’m an independent contractor, that made a lot of sense to us paying the subscription model. But, but what shocked me at first, and it, it, it jarred me was that I might go in to visit my doctor. And I will give an example. Last year, I went in for my physical, and we never got to the physical because we spent we spent an hour just talking about what was going on in my life, and some other things. And it was like, wait a minute, doctors don’t do this. Right. I mean, it wasn’t like a session with a therapist, it was just, had some things going on. And okay, just come back. We’ll do the physical we could do we could do the blood work now. And I was like, wait a minute, but it doesn’t work this way. Wait a minute, it can. So my point here is that, again, getting back to the tradition, well, it’s always worked this way. And it’s put a lot of money in people’s pockets. And if that’s the only way you’ve ever been told, you stop questioning it and to what Ahmad said before about his brother, know that you should always be asking questions. So just a little bit of my perspective on things. I want to go around the horn, the table, whatever we want to call it for final thought, wherever you want to go in terms of, you know, health equity access, community, wherever anyone wants to go, and I will start with Andre.
Andre Davis 33:13
Of course, and I’m ready, I’m ready for you. So first of all, I love I love this discussion. It is is and I love hearing, you know, Dr. Price, I love the personal things that you shared about your brother. And then obviously with Chandra, the connection and how it all happened. I think what I would want to leave people with is just advocate, right? Advocate for not only you, but those in your sphere, right? If you see people and then we as professionals and organizations, we need to be advocating and creating psychological safety within our organizations. That if we know someone is not performing well, Joel just talked about it, the empathetic thing to do was to pull them aside and say, how are you? How’s things going? You’re not going, what do you, what are you experiencing not get into HIPAA, not get into all that. But ask people how they’re doing and maybe they’ll tell you, I’ve just been under the weather and maybe should take two days off and give them the autonomy to do that in and in encourage them that they can take time off to get better. Whether it’s mental health, checkups, whatever that is, but just advocate for those around you that when you see people that are struggling, not all of us are struggling with either mental health, there might be a breathing thing that we’re struggling with that we just haven’t figured it out and advocate for that suggest that they go and encourage them that that if we just did that we can make really make a dent on other things and that’s the community piece of it. So that would be what I would want to leave people with is just be your brother’s keeper right? And just be aware of people and their struggles and be someone that would be willing to step in and and direct them to better resources to get the answers they need medically.
Joel Goldberg 34:59
Well said, as always. Chandra you are next up, I’m leaving the good doctor with the last word. So Chandra your, your thoughts wherever you want to go.
Chandra Clark 35:08
I like to leave our conversation, this was wonderful. So thank you all for this opportunity today,is two things. Representation matters at every level. And stories also matter. I think it’s just really critical that we continue to create opportunities to engage in real, transparent and authentic conversation. So that way, we know that we truly are proponents of creating a sense of community, and that we’re not alone. We know that the pandemic, it has taken a toll on all of us, and the isolation and the deprivation is real. And so I think, Joel, I always have to thank you for utilizing your platform to have the uncomfortable conversations that are also the critical conversations. And also being a true ally and saying, this is what I can do, this is what I can’t do, and being strong enough to understand that some people will receive that, and some people will not. But that doesn’t take away from the legacy that you are called to leave in this world. So that’s what I’d like to leave everyone with.
Joel Goldberg 36:28
Well, I appreciate that. And these are, they’re important conversations and they can’t stop. They have to be happening. Not just on one guy’s podcast, they they should be happening in the office, at work around the water cooler, in the communities, wherever. Everywhere. I mean, we need to be able to talk about it and not brush it under. And that’s hard to do, understandably in the in the day and age, the world that we’re living in. So all right, we’ll go to Dr. GP, Ahmad. How about a final thought from you?
Ahmad Garrett-Price 36:57
Yeah, this has been wonderful. And so thank you all for creating the space but just to draw on everyone. Trust is paramount. Let’s continue to build trust and be there for each other as human beings. Let’s show each other a little grace, a little empathy. On a more formal professional side. Let’s continue this dialogue and continue to partner to move towards a solution. Right? Because you know, at the end of the day, health equity and just equity in general is a team based sport. No pun intended, but it also also can improve the quality and longevity of all of us, right? No matter where we’re from. So we we all want to be participants in this effort for sure.
Joel Goldberg 37:43
Perfect way to end it and this is this has been fantastic if you are listening to the end of this episode and have not checked out the first episode I highly encourage you to do that. It I believe is an easy listen, but but also an important and informative listen as well. So a huge thanks to my my good friends. Longtime friends now it feels like. Andre Davis and Chandra Clark and my new friend Dr. Ahmad Garrett-Price, who I hope I could see you down in Texas next year. Get you to a Royals Rangers game. Chandra blew off the opportunity to go to Fenway
Chandra Clark 38:21
I am the only non-sports sports person on this call.
Joel Goldberg 38:26
You were gonna go, you were gonna go but you had something more important, like a fashion shoot or something like that going on.
Chandra Clark 38:31
I did, I did. A photoshoot.
Joel Goldberg 38:35
It’s more like who am I? Who am I to bring this? Who am I to bring this amazing woman to a baseball game at the most historic best Stadium in baseball.
Ahmad Garrett-Price 38:44
Chandra Clark 38:45
I had a photoshoot, Amhad.
Joel Goldberg 38:56
Think about this. Here we go. We’re unleashed now as we’re wrapping this baby up, but Chandra, you know. If I had told you from a historic standpoint, that Fenway Park opened the same week at that Titanic sank, maybe that would have had some appeal, right? She never saw the Titanic.
Chandra Clark 39:13
And I still was like, one of my dear friends and her husband are coming to Boston next week and he loves baseball. He wants to go to Fenway and I will find my way out of that too.
Joel Goldberg 39:28
Wow. Well, the good news is I don’t even know if they’re in town and and as we’re recording this, the season ends early next week. So you might be off the hook. You might not have to go right, right. That said, Yeah, give everybody that’s listening a little, a little peek into some of the humor and the fun here and the relationships. Andre, Chandra, Ahmad. Thanks so much for doing this really important conversation. I appreciate you all.
Andre Davis 39:52
Thanks for having me, man. And having us loved it all.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai