Ep #47: Dismantling Racism Utilizing the Power of the White Coat: White Coats for Black Lives

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In this episode, we talk to Jessica Simpson, a second-year medical student at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and founder of the Loyola chapter of White Coats for Black Lives, about the WC4BL organization, racism in healthcare, and how to begin having meaningful conversations and take action to combat this systemic issue.

Jessica L. Simpson, M.P.H. is a second-year medical student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). She grew up in Maryland and earned her Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Community Health from the University of Maryland College Park. Jessica earned a Master of Public Health degree from her parents’ alma mater, the University of Louisville. Prior to medical school, Ms. Simpson worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for five years in HIV-related surveillance, national survey analysis, and emergency preparedness and response, including deployments to Sierra Leone for the 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak and the Emergency Operations Center at CDC Headquarters for the opioid epidemic. Early in her career, Ms. Simpson has authored more than 10 peer reviewed abstracts, quick stats, or data briefs and has been the recipient of several federal, state, and academic awards. During her first year of medical school, she was a Co-Coordinator for the high school mentor program, Health Professionals Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP) and continues to mentor her mentees. Currently, Jessica volunteers at the CommunityHealth Clinic (CHC) in Chicago, the largest volunteer-based free clinic in the nation, providing gynecological medical care under the supervision of attending physicians. She also volunteers as a phlebotomist at the CHC. Jessica is the founder and President of the White Coats for Black Lives Chapter at SSOM and Vice President of the Integrative Medicine Student Interest Group. She believes that storytelling has the capacity to change heart and minds by igniting action which leads to meaningful change. For that reason, Ms. Simpson organized the White Coats for Black Lives photo collage project in solidarity for Black Lives at Loyola University Chicago. Jessica enjoys yoga, meditation, gardening, cooking, traveling, running, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. She invites you to connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Episode produced by: Rasa