Q&A with Dr. John Rich: The Impact of Racial Trauma and Substance Use in Communities of Color - John A. Rich, M.D., MPH, is the Co-Director of the Center for
10 May 2023
D., MPH, is the Co-Director of the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice and Professor at Drexel University School of Public Health TFAH: You started your career as a TFAH: Tell us more about your work to primary care physician and you saw design new models of healthcare and the impact of drug and alcohol misuse criminal justice that recognize and every day. [...] the term “healing informed”—we must But they could also be engagement with also take account of the impact of racial music, movement arts, or yoga, because trauma and ensure that our approaches we know that the wounds of trauma are to healing are racially just and culturally not physical and psychological alone; responsive. [...] Are you concerned that that this public health infrastructure is young men within those communities? COVID-19 will add to race-based critical not only for chronic diseases but Can they play a role in addressing the trauma in the United States? also to stem the tide of the diseases of deaths of despair crisis? despair that come from disproportionate Dr. [...] grief over the loss of family, friends, and It has been quite disheartening to We know that young men of color are trusted elders in the community, COVID watch the evolution of the COVID- often stigmatized and judged, almost as has laid bare the reality that Black and 19 pandemic. [...] We must always focus on the help them navigate often unfriendly this is to take an aggressive stance to most affected communities, whether we systems and to come away with a sense improve health equity not only for COVID know all of the underlying reasons or of normalcy, understanding that the but for all of the health and public health not.