A message from the President
I have practiced medicine in south Los Angeles for many years where I have been actively involved in efforts to eliminate health disparities and address the consequences of social determinants of health.
Research studies have now confirmed what we as African Americans have always known—social determinants of health account for the majority of an individual’s health status. Much more than access to health care and genetic factors, social determinants of health predict an individual’s health status and outcomes. Food deserts, violence, poverty, disproportionate rates of incarceration, chronic stress, and family structure and support all impact a person’s ability to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle that can lead to improved health status and better health outcomes. The business of medicine is now, more than ever, focused on quality and value in medical treatment, striving to affect social determinants of health in order to reduce health care spending and to improve this country’s declining health status among other western nations.
The Charles R. Drew Medical Society, established 1948 as a local affiliate of the National Medical Association, established in 1895, has long focused on parity and justice in medicine, the elimination of health disparities and the promotion of optimal health. I am committed to assisting our organization in continuing to move forward in meeting these objectives. We now have before us, a real opportunity to effect change in our communities within the context of the newly focused healthcare system in America. Real attention is finally being paid to the issues our communities have proclaimed as detrimental to our health and wellbeing for decades. One approach, which may hold promise for our medical society to impact the health status of our communities, is through relationships with other similarly focused medical societies, universities, and institutes that also strive to improve the status of the social determinants of health for African American and other minority communities.
I look forward to continuing the legacy of those who came before me in this great organization and to achieving real progress in improving our communities’ social determinants of health, access to quality health care, and overall health status.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president of the Charles R. Drew Medical Society. I look forward to all the good we can do together.