The Virginian-Pilot article A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak at a public health conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss the state of public health in the United States.
I was nervous about how I would answer questions from reporters and activists who were questioning the health of the nation’s citizens.
When the speaker first introduced me, she said I’d have to speak on behalf of all Americans, regardless of race, gender, income or other demographic characteristics.
But I was really nervous.
I had been asked a similar question at a similar conference last year, and the answer had been, in a word, no.
I didn’t want to be seen as the bad guy or the villain.
I’d already heard the criticism.
As a white, educated, middle-aged woman, I wasn’t particularly confident that I’d speak on their behalf.
I knew I was only going to be able to speak to a small group of people who were interested in the health issues facing our nation.
I also knew that many of the people I would speak to would be white, male and well-off.
This was an event that I knew would attract a fair number of white people, and that I was the most likely to have a good relationship with.
The fact that I wasn’s been invited to this event made me feel especially nervous.
But as I started speaking, I felt a sense of relief.
The people I was addressing were all white, middle class, educated and well connected.
I felt like I was on the same page as them.
And it wasn’t until I finished my speech that I realized that the event was meant to be a celebration of my work as a health advocate and to help other people understand the ways in which I understand how our healthcare system works.
In fact, it was so focused on the fact that white, well-educated people were speaking that I had a feeling that I might be mistaken in my assumptions.
I wondered if my presence at the event would be perceived as somehow compromising my work.
The response from the journalists and activists at the conference was almost universal in their skepticism.
They said that I should never have gone to the conference.
I’m not going to talk about my work, they said.
And I can’t help but wonder if they’ll be more concerned about what I might say if I speak at another public health event.
I can only hope that they’re not.
In this context, it can be easy to assume that the audience at this conference has been treated unfairly by a health care provider who is more interested in promoting their own agenda than in promoting the health and well being of their patients.
The truth is, I am not a member of any group that has been systematically excluded from the health care system in this country.
For me, it is a privilege to work for a hospital in Virginia, and to speak for its patients, staff and staff members.
But it’s also a privilege for the people of this country to hear about health issues from people who are people of color, women, LGBT people and people of low income.
The way we talk about healthcare in the country is still deeply entrenched.
While I can speak about how we talk to each other about health, it’s important to recognize that we need to understand the broader context that has led us to talk in that way.
When we’re discussing health issues, it helps us understand the systems that we use to treat and diagnose each other.
It helps us to see what is really happening, so that we can better understand what we need in order to change those systems.
And when we do, we can begin to do something about it.
That’s why we can call out health care providers who are doing things that aren’t in line with our health care needs, and what I’m calling for is an end to the silencing of health care workers of color in this way.
It’s not that I don’t want my work to be heard.
It is that we are so used to it that it is becoming very difficult to be outspoken about it, even when it is an issue that affects us personally.
It has become impossible to call out these health care services in this context.
Instead, we need a much more inclusive approach.
We need to be talking about health as it relates to race, class, gender and other demographic groups, and how we’re treating each other and our patients.
We have to take our health seriously and to be mindful of how we are treating each and every one of our patients in the care of the healthcare system.
The only way we can do that is to be more conscious of what we do to the health services that we provide, and by extension, the health systems that they serve.
We must be talking to each and everyone of our health-care providers about the systemic racism and health disparities that we see in how we care for our people.
This is a conversation that is happening right