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A Seat at the Table Community Webinar Series

A Seat at the Table Webinar Series

Presenting three panel discussions to bring awareness to healthcare disparities facing African Americans.

“A Seat at the Table Webinar Series: Community Views Around Healthcare Disparities Faced by African Americans” event details

Versiti’s A Seat at the Table Discussion: Sickle Cell Awareness

Versiti’s A Seat at the Table series has an important goal: bring awareness to healthcare disparities facing African Americans.

“Spilled Milk” is a film about two lifelong friends: Jaqai, a white man from Utah, and Omar, a Black man from New Jersey. Omar was living with sickle cell disease (SCD) and Jaqai uprooted his life to make a documentary about his friend.

During this A Seat at the Table session, panelists discussed sickle cell disease, treatment options for patients, what it is like to live with a chronic disease, why blood transfusions are important, the important blood types and donor profiles that support patients with SCD, and how to raise awareness in communities of color.

Panelists:

  • Emily Meier, MD, MSHS: Director, Sickle Cell Research at Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Latoya Stamper, MSW, APSW: Lead Social Worker, Children’s Wisconsin; Wisconsin sickle cell program and hematology clinic
  • James Griffin III: Author, “Breaking Silence: Living with Sickle Cell Anemia”; Advocate
  • Greg Asmus: Field Marketing Manager of Transfusion Medicine, Versiti Diagnostic Laboratories
  • Cynthia Leonard, RN, MSN: Program Coordinator, Sickle Cell Disease Clinic, Froedtert Hospital
  • Jaqai Mickelsen: “Spilled Milk” film director

Moderator: Tyrone “DJ Bizzon” Miller

Versiti’s A Seat at the Table Discussion: Organ and Tissue Donation

Versiti’s A Seat at the Table series has an important goal: bring awareness to healthcare disparities facing African Americans.

In the movie “A Question of Faith,” a judge remands Maria to a juvenile detention center after the teen strikes 12-year-old Eric with her car while texting and driving. Joining Eric in the hospital is Michelle, a young singer who collapses while auditioning for a major record label. As their respective parents begin to question their faith, a chain of events brings all three families together in unexpected ways.

During this A Seat at the Table session, panelists discussed the importance of having conversations about organ and tissue donation and end-of-life planning.

Panelists:

  • Colleen McCarthy: Chief of Staff and Vice President of Organ and Tissue Donation, Versiti
  • Terra Pearson, MD: Transplant Surgeon, Froedtert Hospital
  • Colette Shumpert: Donor mom
  • Angela White: Producer of “A Question of Faith”

Moderator: Pastor Christopher R. Boston

Versiti’s A Seat at the Table Discussion: Healthcare Disparities

Versiti’s A Seat at the Table series has an important goal: bring awareness to healthcare disparities facing African Americans.

About “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”: In 1951, cancerous cells from Henrietta Lacks lead to breakthroughs that change the face of medicine forever. Aided by writer Rebecca Skloot, Deborah Lacks embarks on a quest to learn about the mother she never knew.

Panelists:

  • Ed Jenkins: Founder, Lalo’s Lunchbox LLC; sickle cell patient
  • Shelley Mitchell: Regional Manager of Donor Recruitment, Versiti
  • Stephanie Jones: Quality and Research Supervisor, Versiti Medical Sciences Institute
  • Bashir Easter: Assistant Director, All of Us Research
  • Stacy Crouther: Living kidney recipient

Moderator: Vivian King

Did you know?

One in 10 African American babies are born with sickle cell trait, and blood transfusions are the most common way to treat sickle cell disease.

  • Annually, about eight consistent blood donors support one person living with sickle cell disease.
  • African Americans are the largest diverse race in need of an organ transplant – 32,000 to be exact, on the national wait list.
  • High rates of diabetes and high blood pressure contribute to the increased risk of organ failure in African Americans.
  • African Americans are gravely underrepresented in the blood donor population.

These existing healthcare disparities require greater attention to make a substantial impact for people who need it most. By presenting “A Seat at the Table,” Versiti is looking to better engage African American communities across our five-state footprint (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) in a fun, impactful and informative way.

Everyone in Versiti’s footprint is welcome to attend: blood, platelet and plasma donors/recipients; marrow donor and recipients; organ and tissue donors/family members, Versiti team members; blood drive hosts; volunteers; community and faith leaders; educators; friends, family and neighbors – everyone!

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