Racial and ethical approaches to community health (REACH) is a periodic column featuring articles that focus on reducing health disparities in the African American community. It will include topics submitted by Creighton University Health Sciences Multicultural and Community Affairs (HS-MACA) department.
Dr. Kings legacy on Health
By Richard L. Brown, Ph.D., FACHE
We celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. each year as a U.S. federal holiday in memory since 1986. As we strive to emulate Dr. King’s legacy, our goal should to honor his life and work, so that we can be inspired to apply his philosophy to our own lives and be called to address the causes and impact of social inequality and injustices present today.
On March 25, 1966, in Chicago, during a press conference at the second convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR), King said:
“Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This quote speaks to the heart of the mission of the Creighton University Center for Health and Health Equity (CPHHE), which is to identify and effectively promote the reduction of health disparities.
The most powerful influence for any organization is its board of directors and executive leadership team, because of the decisions made directly on the communities served. Diversity and inclusion in the C-Suite and board room is the key to eradicating health disparities and inequities in communities of color.
During these times of political turmoil and decision making about how to eliminate the corona virus pandemic, people often ask what would Dr. King do or what would Jesus do? What we do know is that Jesus did a lot of walking as there were no automobiles, trains, or air planes during his time on earth. We also Know that Dr. King did a lot of walking as he marched in city after city for voting rights, health equity and civil rights. They both were soldiers for saving humanity and promoting health equity. Therefore, I believe they would be in favor of following the science that drives taking the vaccine and wearing mask for protection.
As we continue with an increase in COVID-19 cases by the omicron variant, the importance of physical activity including walking as part of one’s daily regimen is an important consideration and backed by scientific research. Every time you get an opportunity to walk, don’t hesitate to do so. It is simple and easy, and everyone with legs can do it.
A mask mandate was announced Tuesday January 11, 2022 by Douglas County Health Director Lindsay Huse and set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday within Omaha city limits. It applies to schools and many other public indoor spaces in the city.
The mandate will remain in place until case counts for the city of Omaha are below 200 per 100,000 residents for seven days and hospital capacity is maintained at or below 85% for seven consecutive days. The order will be reviewed every four weeks at a minimum for extension or expiration.
While there are some who disapprove of this move, I belive Dr. King and Jesus would approve as like Dr. Huse, they had a mission of protecting the health of all human beings.
“Control your destination, take the vaccination” and walk.