Inside the Lab

Ep09: Native American-Specific Challenges with COVID-19

December 08, 2020 American Society for Clinical Pathology
Inside the Lab
Ep09: Native American-Specific Challenges with COVID-19
Show Notes

COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on Native American communities. In fact, a CDC study in 23 selected states found that the incidence of confirmed cases among American Indians and Alaska Natives was 3.5 times that of non-Hispanic whites. Why are indigenous people among the hardest hit by the virus? 

On this episode of Inside the Lab, our hosts Dr. Lotte Mulder and Ms. Kelly Swails are joined by Dr. Sonya Shin, MD, Founding Director of the Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment Program and Contact Tracing Lead under the Navajo Nation Unified Command, Dr. Thomas Sequist, MD, Chief Patient Experience and Equity Officer at Mass General Brigham, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and Medical Director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Physician Outreach Program with the Indian Health Service, and Dr. Tricia Murdock, MD, Assistant Professor of Pathology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, to discuss the challenges specific to the Native American population through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The panelists explain how the coronavirus has served as “historical truth serum,” shedding light on the racist systems that have actively oppressed indigenous communities over the centuries and how the higher prevalence of chronic illness among Native Americans created by those systems led to poor outcomes in the pandemic. Listen in to learn what we can do to keep health equity in the spotlight when COVID-19 is a thing of the past.

Key Takeaways 

· The challenges Native American populations face around access to healthcare in general
· What makes the coronavirus pandemic a “perfect storm for disaster” among Native American communities
· How COVID-19 has served as a historical truth serum and shed light on the health disparities among minority populations in the U.S.
· How a higher prevalence of chronic illness among Native Americans led to poor outcomes with coronavirus
· How to facilitate dialogue around health equity and help deconstruct the systems intended to decimate Native American communities 

Connect with ASCP 

ASCP
ASCP on Facebook
ASCP on Instagram
ASCP on Twitter 

Connect with Dr. Shin 

Navajo Nation’s Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment Program
Gallup Indian Medical Center
Dr. Shin on LinkedIn 

Connect with Dr. Sequist 

Dr. Sequist at Harvard
Dr. Sequist at Brigham Health
Dr. Sequist on LinkedIn 

Connect with Dr. Murdock  

Dr. Murdock at Johns Hopkins
Dr. Murdock on LinkedIn 

Connect with Dr. Mulder & Ms. Swails 

Dr. Mulder on Twitter
Ms. Swails on Twitter