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Racism is a Public Health Crisis Says Doctor Who Helps African Americans

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Dr. Greg Hall is a primary care physician in Cleveland, Ohio who tailors his practice to specifically helping African Americans who have been short-changed by the traditional medical establishment.

He says that racism is a public health crisis that manifests itself in many disparities between treatment of black patients and white patients. He cites the current COVID-19 pandemic as one example.

But, Dr. Hall notes that 400 years of bad relationships between the white power structure and blacks have bred an inherent mistrust in the medical establishment by most blacks. He also notes that history is replete with medical abuses of blacks by whites, thereby heightening mistrust.

Dr. Hall notes that there are medical differences in caring for African Americans who have illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases but that there also are major communication differences.

He must gain the trust of his patients before he can adequately treat them. Therefore, he gives them personal attention and listens to their stories about their life and health issues. Listening is key, he says.

Dr. Hall also notes that blacks have extremely high infant mortality rate in this country. He feels that the tension of dealing with racism on a daily basis can lower a mother’s ability to deal with the stresses of childbirth, regardless of socio-economic status.

He is attempting, in his practice, to combat racial disparities “one patient at a time,” he says.

Dr. Hall has dedicated the bulk of his career to helping African American patients. He served on the Ohio Commission on Minority Health from 2002 and served as chairman until the fall of 2018.

In 2008, Dr. Hall was appointed to the Ohio Medicaid Medical Care Advisory Committee and currently serves on the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

Dr. Hall holds two teaching appointments at the Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine and also is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

In January 2020, his new book “Patient-Centered Clinical Care for African Americans: A Concise, Evidence-Based Guide to Important Differences and Better Outcomes” was published by Springer International Publishing.