Eric Dube, Ph.D., Speaks at Black Women’s Health Imperative Event

On August 12, the Black Women’s Health Imperative hosted a national webinar with its partner, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. entitled “Our Health, Our Community: Mobilizing for the Survival of Black Women,” in partnership with EBONY.

Moderated by CNN National Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, the webinar featured corporate leaders:

  • Michelle McMurry-Heath, M.D., Ph.D, president and CEO of BIO
  • Karen DeSalvo, M.D., chief health officer for Google Health
  • Eric Dube, Ph.D., president and CEO of Retrophin
  • Erin Mitchell Richeson, VP of inclusion and diversity at Kimberly-Clark

Dr. McMurry-Heath began the webinar outlining BIO’s equality agenda which looks to its corporate members to examine what is in each company’s power to end healthcare disparities. She discussed the critical need for representation of women and African Americans in clinical trials – in all of the medicines of tomorrow – and for COVID vaccines.

The panel continued the discussion with Dr. DeSalvo sharing what she learned as a healthcare provider for underserved and uninsured people in New Orleans. Namely, she described the need to provide care recognizing “life in context” – not life in the clinic. That context includes structural and personal racism, poor air quality, lack of access to healthy food, and other social determinants of health. By listening to patients she realized that people were less concerned with cardiovascular health and cancer – and more concerned about violence, mental health, and fitness.

Eric Dube introduced the work of Retrophin, the way patients and caregivers are struggling, and what Retrophin is doing to help.

Ms. Richeson talked about the Helping Hug campaign, one of the initiatives Kimberly Clark has developed in response to COVID. Hoarding, furloughs and job losses made many people desperate for diapers which the company donated back to hard hit communities.

Throughout the event, a recurring theme was the critical need for partnership with communities. Whether discussing pushback against real science, telehealth for low-resource communities, clinical trials, or the impact of COVID on workforces, the leaders described their commitment to minimize inequality. Watch the discussion on YouTube.