Black History/Futures Month: Listening to Patients

Left to right: Brandon holding Baby Lobo, Dr. Robin Scott, Baby Lobo’s mother Dalliana

Black History Month is about celebrating the contributions and brilliance of Black visionaries and leaders of all kinds, whose courage and work have transformed us. It is also about looking forward and envisioning what it will take to build a world where Black people are fully free from racism and there is equity in medicine, housing, education, and all areas of life.

So much of Black history is created through the work of leaders—Black writers, artists, and pioneers in so many fields. But it is also made by Black caregivers, parents, teachers, and others who create change every day by uplifting communities, inspiring children, and helping to create a more just society. At Children’s Health Fund, we see this in the Black healthcare providers who work hand-in-hand with children, nurturing their health and wellbeing.

A few weeks ago, we shared the story of how Baby Lobo received critical care during the pandemic from Dr. Robin Scott at the CHF-supported Bronx Health Collective with Montefiore Health System.

Dr. Scott has been the family pediatrician for Baby Lobo’s father, Brandon, and generations of his family. Recalling when he first met Dr. Scott as a child, Brandon said, “I remember…seeing this tall Black woman come, and she looks like one of my aunts. And it felt like I was being taken care of by family…I think that’s so important.” 

In healthcare, patients need to feel that they can trust their providers. Being cared for by someone who can relate to their experiences and knows their community helps patients to feel heard, respected, and empowered in their healthcare. Especially during this pandemic, Black providers are important in educating and reaching patients, which can increase their willingness to access care and treatments such as the COVID-19 vaccine.

And, it is so valuable for young Black patients to see people like them in leadership positions in their lives. This can impact their understanding of what is possible for them, how they see themselves, and their sense of safety and inclusion in our larger society.

“Dr. Scott was someone that I knew that I wanted to be a part of Lobo’s life.” Brandon said. “I feel so comfortable. I feel like I can speak up. I feel like we can have dialogue.”

So as we recognize Black History Month, we also celebrate how Black history is happening right now, and how frontline healthcare heroes like Dr. Robin Scott are nurturing tomorrow’s leaders, “It takes a village and a community to raise a leader in the world,” Brandon added.

At Children’s Health Fund, we want Black children and young people to see the beauty of their history, their present, and their future.

Join us in celebrating Black history and Black futures.

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