Eating Disorders in the Black Community

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, or Dr. BCW for short, and today, I want to talk about the pressing yet often overlooked issue of eating disorders in the Black community.

Busting Myths

Despite prevalent myths, eating disorders do not discriminate—they affect individuals across all ethnicities. The false belief that these disorders are rare among Black people is not only incorrect but also detrimental. It hinders those in need from seeking support. The myth is partly rooted in cultural norms that favor curvier body types, potentially masking the presence of an eating disorder. Moreover, the lack of diverse representation in media and healthcare narratives reinforces this dangerous stereotype, usually depicting eating disorders as afflictions of white, affluent females.

The Impact of Stereotypes

In my practice, the impact of eating disorders on Black individuals is palpable. These disorders are severe health conditions with potentially life-threatening consequences. Being a Black female physician and health advocate, I’ve witnessed the additional hurdles my patients encounter—delayed diagnosis, limited access to treatment, and the weight of societal stigma. To dismantle these barriers, we must first acknowledge and confront the stereotypes and biases at play. This involves a collective effort to amplify inclusive research and education and to reshape the media portrayal of eating disorders.

Moving Towards Health Equity

The path to health equity demands that we elevate the conversation about body image and mental health in the Black community. We must foster an inclusive healthcare environment where everyone feels seen and adequately supported. Advocating for comprehensive education, diverse representation, and accessible healthcare services is essential. It’s about creating a healthcare system that truly understands and responds to diverse needs.

Please take the time to check out my recent SheKnows article by clicking the link below.

Why Eating Disorders in Black People Frequently Go Undiagnosed, According to a Doctor

 

Stay informed and prioritize your health! – Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)

 

#EatingDisordersAwareness #HealthEquity #BlackHealthMatters


Diversity in Leadership

Hi, I’m Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, known as Dr. BCW. In an enlightening episode of Beyond Clinical Walls Podcast, I spoke with Jay Guilford, a specialist in leadership and DEI training. His work with giants like Google and Uber has now branched into advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare.

Insights on Leadership Diversity

  1. Personal Experiences: Jay recounted his healthcare experiences, shedding light on the biases in medical treatment. Of course, as a black female physician, I share some of my experiences as well.
  2. Why DEI Matters in Healthcare: Our chat centered on the critical need for DEI training in the medical field. Jay’s personal story underscored how biases can dangerously sway patient care.
  3. Broadening DEI Scope: We delved into the vast realm of DEI, moving beyond just anti-racism. It’s about embracing all forms of diversity in leadership roles, especially in healthcare.
  4. The Journey of Learning: Emphasizing self-education, we talked about understanding our biases to offer more compassionate and effective healthcare.
  5. Actionable Steps: I shared practical tips for listeners, particularly healthcare professionals, to enhance their DEI understanding and application. It’s a continuous learning process for better healthcare delivery.

Conclusion

Of course, this podcast episode was a deep dive into the importance of diversity in leadership within healthcare. Join us in this vital discussion to foster a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system.

Check out the full podcast: https://www.beyondclinicalwallspodcast.com/2118184/14245963

To learn more about Jay Gilford’s work check out: https://www.coworkslead.com/

#DiversityInLeadership #Dr_BCW #JayGuilford #DEIInHealthcare #InclusiveHealthcare #LeadershipDevelopment #HealthcareDiversity #BeyondClinicalWalls #EquityInHealthcare


Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, aka Dr. BCW. I’m excited to share my recent collaboration with the Health Unmuted Podcast on their mini-series “Preventing Type 2 Diabetes.” This series is a vital resource for anyone at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as their loved ones.

Understanding Diabetes

In the U.S., approximately 33 million people live with type 2 diabetes, and many more are at risk. The first episode of this series dives into the basics of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, focusing on early detection and understanding the condition.

Recognizing Symptoms and Early Detection

Episode two is particularly close to my heart, as it emphasizes the importance of recognizing early signs of prediabetes. This stage is crucial for intervention and can significantly reduce the progression to type 2 diabetes.

The Power of Diet

Diet plays a key role in managing and preventing diabetes. The third episode of the series discusses how simple dietary changes can make a significant impact. It’s not about giving up the foods you love but about understanding how food affects your body and making mindful choices.

Accessing Healthy Foods

Access to healthy food can be a challenge for many. Episode four focuses on finding resources and programs that make healthy eating more accessible, especially for those living with prediabetes.

Lifestyle Changes: Exercise and Sleep

Preventing type 2 diabetes isn’t just about diet. In episode five, we explore how regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management contribute to overall health and diabetes prevention. Small, consistent changes can lead to significant improvements.

Exploring Medication Options

Medication can be a crucial aspect of managing prediabetes. Episode six covers various medication options and the importance of discussing these with healthcare providers. It also provides resources to make medication more affordable.

The Road Ahead

Finally, episode seven encapsulates the journey of preventing type 2 diabetes. It’s a continuous process of learning and adapting. The episode provides valuable resources and next steps to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

My Takeaway

Collaborating on this series has been an enriching experience. It aligns with my passion for health literacy and proactive healthcare. I hope this podcast series empowers you with the knowledge and confidence to manage or prevent type 2 diabetes.

For more information and to listen to the series, check out Health Unmuted on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to your health.

Stay informed and prioritize your health!

 

– Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)


Black Women in Medicine

In this episode of Beyond Clinical Walls Podcast, Dr. Curry-Winchell, also known as Dr. BCW, talks about the challenges facing black women in medicine, as she discusses with Dr. Ivie Okundaye.

Join Dr. BCW in this enlightening episode of Beyond Clinical Walls Podcast. She engages in a deep conversation with Dr. Okundaye. Dr. Okundaye is a nephrologist and assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. In this candid discussion, Dr. Okundaye shares her inspirational journey. From her roots in the Midwest to her remarkable achievements in the medical field.

Born to Nigerian immigrant parents, Dr. Okundaye’s path led her through prestigious institutions like Wake Forest University and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. She shares her experiences, shaped by her identity and the challenges of being a black woman in medicine. Of course Dr. Curry-Winchell relates to many of these challenges. Hear these two physicians provide their unique perspective on health equity and the importance of diversity in healthcare.

Dr. Okundaye delves into her experiences in medical school and her fellowship at Stanford University. She highlights the challenges and triumphs of her journey. Of course, both physicians share their dedication to patient care, self-advocacy, and mentoring the next generation of medical professionals. Particularly the next generation of black women in medicine.

The discussion also explores Dr. Okundaye’s venture into health communication through radio shows and podcasts, her passion for enhancing health literacy, and her innovative consulting firm designed to guide aspiring medical professionals.

This episode is not just a narrative of personal success. It’s a beacon of hope and guidance for anyone aspiring to make a difference in the world of medicine. Regardless of their background.

Join Dr. Curry-Winchell on the Beyond Clinical Walls Podcast for an inspiring tale of resilience, commitment, and the power of diversity in shaping the future of healthcare.


Gestational Diabetes

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell. Today, I want to discuss a significant health issue that often goes undiscussed. Gestational diabetes, especially as it pertains to the Black maternal health crisis in the United States.

In honor of National Diabetes Month and the current Maternal Health crisis I partnered with She Knows to highlight this growing concern. You can find my article from She Knows HERE

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition that can develop during pregnancy. It is usually diagnosed through screening between the 24th and 28th weeks. The exact cause is not fully understood, it’s thought to be linked to hormonal changes in pregnancy. Symptoms can be subtle, such as increased thirst and frequent urination, or non-existent, making it a potentially silent threat.

The condition not only affects mothers by increasing the likelihood of complications like premature birth and cesarean sections, but it also impacts infants, who may face respiratory difficulties, future obesity, and a higher diabetes risk later in life.

The Impact on Black Maternal Health

Alarmingly, gestational diabetes is a gateway to type 2 diabetes postpartum. Research shows that Black women are disproportionately diagnosed with type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes, this disparity could be due to a lack of consistent screenings post-childbirth, as symptoms may be mistakenly attributed to typical postpartum recovery.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition where the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body becomes insulin resistant. This can lead to severe health issues, including vision loss, nerve damage, and increased risk of kidney and heart diseases — conditions that already have a higher mortality rate among Black individuals.

The Importance of Advocacy and Screening

Advocacy is crucial in addressing this health crisis. The healthcare system’s systemic racism and unconscious biases often lead to the dismissal of Black women’s pain and concerns. I speak from personal experience. As a physician within the healthcare system, I encountered life-threatening challenges during my childbirth due to my pain being overlooked.

For those diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it’s critical to request diabetes screenings after giving birth. As healthcare providers, we must confront unconscious biases and eradicate race-based medicine to improve health outcomes for all mothers and children.

In conclusion, while gestational diabetes is a complex condition with profound implications for maternal health, awareness and proactive management can lead to better outcomes. Help spread awareness, share this article with loved ones and those that can benefit from the information. Increased health literacy gives everyone a better opportunity to advocate for their own health. Greater awareness helps bring light to disparities and of course helps bring change.

Stay informed and prioritize your health!

– Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)

 


Consequences of Pharmacy Closures in Underserved Communities

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, aka Dr. BCW. Today, I want to discuss the consequences of pharmacy closures in underserved communities. It’s impossible to ignore the distressing trend in our health care landscape. A rising number of pharmacy closures, especially in underserved communities. I recently delved into this significant issue with Anne-Marie Green on CBS News. It’s clear that the implications of these closures go far beyond mere inconvenience.

For many years, major drugstore chains like Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens have been pillars in numerous neighborhoods, offering a vast range of essential health services. Now, as they begin to close down, the resulting implications are profound and deeply concerning, particularly for communities already struggling with limited health care access and basic services.

The Disproportionate Impact on Communities of Color

During my recent CBS interview, I highlighted that these pharmacy closures aren’t happening uniformly across regions. Disadvantaged communities of color are disproportionately affected. Deprived of access to crucial medications, essential items, and basic health screenings, these communities face a heightened risk of health disparities. 

The Growing Phenomenon of “Pharmacy Deserts”

“Pharmacy Deserts” has become a common term for areas without access to a local pharmacy. This problem is eerily reminiscent of the well-known challenge of food deserts, where many communities lack grocery stores that offer healthy foods. In my experience, there’s a clear overlap between these two challenges, especially in communities of color and rural locales. When you combine the absence of healthy food with a lack of essential medications, you end up with a silent yet burgeoning health crisis. Of course that is what these pharmacy closures are doing. They are hurting health care access. 

The Broad-ranging Effects on Health Services

Pharmacies offer so much more than merely prescription medications. They provide critical health services like blood pressure monitors, over the counter medicine, and vital check-ins such as COVID tests and vaccinations during the pandemic’s height. As these pharmacy closures continue, we’re watching essential health care touch points vanish, which makes achieving optimal health even more daunting for many.

Throughout my practice, I’ve always regarded the local pharmacy as a vital partner in ensuring patient care. The diminishing presence of these pharmacies, driven by an array of factors, including industry shifts and economic challenges, is directly impacting patient care in ways many might not immediately recognize.

Conclusion

The broader issue here is not just about pharmacy closures or businesses shutting their doors. This crisis affects the health, well-being, and very essence of entire communities. The increasing chasm of health inequities is gravely concerning. Of course tackling this challenge demands combined efforts from all stakeholders. 

This topic deserves deeper scrutiny. I hope we can keep these issues at the forefront of conversation and continue to push towards actionable solutions. Of course in hopes that we can resolve these challenges with health care access. 

Stay informed and prioritize your health!

– Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)

 Check out this video from Dr. Curry-Winchell @ Dr_BCW to learn more about the consequences of pharmacy closures in underserved communities. 


Voting Impacts Health?

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, aka Dr. BCW. Today, let’s delve into a topic often underestimated in its impact on our well-being: voting. Some of you are thinking, “Voting impacts health?” According to the CDC as much as 80% of our health is shaped by “social determinants of health”? These are often directly impacted by local and federal laws, health policies, minimum wages, and environmental protections that directly impact health outcomes. This is why voter registration is so important.
https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2021/20_0569.htm

Your Vote, Your Health: Unveiling the Impact

Voting isn’t merely about selecting representatives. It is also about endorsing policies that greatly influence our collective and individual well-being. It’s about standing up for a healthier, more equitable environment that benefits everyone. Your vote can impact the health of your community through influence on social programs, environmental issues, and health regulations. Do not underestimate the power these factors have on your health and the health of your community. Also, The American Medical Association underscores the profound link between voting and health, recognizing that “voting is a social determinant of health and significantly contributes to the analyses of other social determinants of health.”
https://policysearch.ama-assn.org/policyfinder/detail/voting?uri=%2FAMADoc%2FHOD.xml-h-440.805.xml

Barriers and Disparities

Sadly, certain communities face barriers to voting. For instance, communities of color, young people, rural residents, and disabled Americans often encounter obstacles that hamper their access to the voting process. Of course, these very same groups are often disproportionately affected by health disparities. To help improve health equity, we need to enable those facing barriers to use their vote to express their wishes.

The Power of Change

One group working to help underrepresented individuals vote is Vot-ER (https://vot-er.org). Vote-ER is a nonprofit on a mission for nonpartisan civic engagement within healthcare settings. Founded by Dr. Alister Martin, an emergency room physician. Vot-ER empowers healthcare professionals, clinical students, and medical institutions to champion voter registration and civic participation among patients and local communities. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which empowered the DMV, also grants hospitals the authority to conduct nonpartisan voter registration. Like voter registration at the DMV, healthcare settings possess a unique platform to promote civic engagement. By donning a simple badge, healthcare providers signify their readiness to assist patients with voter registration right in the hospital or clinic.

Your Role

Above all, incorporating nonpartisan voter registration and education into healthcare settings enables patients to participate actively in their civic responsibilities, ultimately influencing health-oriented policies. Voter readiness isn’t a sporadic effort tied to high-profile elections; it’s an ongoing commitment. If you’re a medical provider, social worker, or student in the health field, I invite you to join me in this movement. Obtain your free badge at https://vot-er.org/badge.

Whether you’re a healthcare professional or a patient, your voice matters. Take a moment now to register to vote or verify your voter registration status by visiting: https://drbcw.com/vote

Closing

In conclusion, we can forge healthier communities through a more vibrant democracy. Let’s channel the power of voting to shape a better future for ourselves and future generations. Above all, let’s make a lasting impact on our health and our future through voting.

Stay informed and prioritize your health!

– Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)

 

Check out Dr. Curry-Winchell’s Beyond Clinical Walls video on this subject:

 


Maternal Mortality in Black Women

Hi, It’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, Dr. BCW. In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to discuss maternal mortality in black women. Within this troubling reality of maternal mortality, a striking disparity exists. Black women, particularly in the United States, face a disproportionately higher risk of maternal death than their white counterparts. This fact demands attention and immediate action to address the systemic factors contributing to this tragic inequity.

The Stark Reality:

The statistics surrounding maternal mortality in black women are alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), black women in the U.S. are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. Even in high-income brackets, well-educated black women face higher risks than their white counterparts with lower incomes and education levels. This glaring disparity persists across all age groups and income levels, underlining the deeply rooted structural issues.

Underlying Causes:

Access is often cited as the cause of many health-related disparities. However, given the findings that even economically fortunate and highly educated black women face a higher risk of death, this issue is not simply a matter of access. Several factors contribute to the elevated rates of maternal mortality among black women. First and foremost, racial bias within healthcare cannot be overlooked, and unconscious bias and racial stereotypes are undoubtedly a factor. These biases influence medical professionals’ decision-making resulting in poor health outcomes for black mothers. Studies show that black women often face inadequate medical care, misdiagnoses, and delays in treatment, leading to preventable deaths.

Do not fall into mental trap that this isn’t an issue any more. These biases are alive and well today.  Look at the 2016 study that showed that almost half of medical students surveyed believed that black patients had thicker skin and felt less pain than white patients.  Find the study here: https://www.aamc.org/news/how-we-fail-black-patients-pain

Social determinants of health can play a role. Economic disparities, limited access to quality healthcare, and higher rates of chronic diseases all contribute.

A Call for Action:

Addressing maternal mortality in black women requires everyone’s help, and we need to target both healthcare systems and social structures. Here are some steps that can help:

  1. Raising Awareness: Awareness of the disparities in maternal health outcomes among black women is crucial. Education and dialogue can foster empathy, drive change, and encourage action.
  2. Eliminating Racial Bias in Healthcare: Implementing training programs for healthcare professionals to recognize and combat racial bias is critical, as is dismantling structural racism within healthcare systems. 
  3. Investing in Community-Based Support: Establishing community-based programs that provide culturally competent care, support networks, and education can empower black women during pregnancy and childbirth. These initiatives can help bridge the gaps in healthcare access and provide vital resources.

Conclusion:

Maternal mortality in black women is a devastating and persistent crisis that needs our attention. The systemic factors contributing to this disparity must be acknowledged and addressed at all levels. By addressing racial bias within healthcare systems, improving access to quality care, and investing in community-based support, we can move towards a society where every woman, regardless of race, receives the care and support she deserves during the miraculous journey of motherhood.

Stay informed and make well-informed decisions about your health and well-being.

– Dr. BCW (Dr. Curry-Winchell)


Under the Sisterhood Podcast with Dr. BCW

Dr. Curry-Winchell, Dr. BCW, recently talked with Under the Sisterhood Podcast about her experience as a Black female physician.  Dr. BCW talks about race base medicine, professional challenges and her advocacy work to bring equity to the health care system.

Under the Sisterhood Podcast with Dr. BCWCelebrating Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell during Women’s History Month a mother, daughter, sister, friend, children and women’s advocate, TEDx Speaker, Regional Clinical Director @ Carbon Health, Medical Correspondent and Saint Mary’s Urgent Care Medical Director & Physician.

Dr. Curry-Winchell obtained her medical degree at Ross University and completed her residency at the University of Nevada Reno Family Medicine, graduating in 2015.  Board-certified, she is currently a practicing physician, Medical Director of Community Engagement and Health Equity & Co-lead of DEIB for Carbon Health, she is also the Medical Director for Saint Mary’s Medical Group in Reno, NV, as well as the Medical Director for the Washoe County Sexual Assault Response Team and volunteers as an Assistant Medical Examiner for Washoe County Child Protective Services.

In addition to her clinical work, Dr. BCW is a member of the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians and a board member for the Washoe County Medical Society, Nevada State Medical Association, Centene Silver Summit, PBS, and University of Nevada Alumni.

Check out the Under the Sisterhood Podcast with Dr. BCW


Washoe County Medical Society President, Dr BCW

Dr. Curry-Winchell, Dr. BCW, recently took over as the President of the Washoe County Medical Society.

Dr. BCW brings a wealth of experience and expertise in healthcare, community engagement, and health equity to the role of President.
As the Medical Director of Community Engagement and Health Equity, and Medical Director of Urgent Care Clinics at Carbon Health and Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Reno, Dr. Curry-Winchell has dedicated her career to improving the health and well-being of her community. She is a native Nevadan and a graduate of the University of Nevada Family Medicine Residency in 2015.

Dr. BCW is also the founder of Beyond Clinical Walls. This regular series aims to provide health information on social media to help improve health literacy and reduce health inequities.  The medical director of the Washoe County Sexual Assault Response Team. She volunteers as an assistant medical examiner at Washoe County Child Protective Services, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, she joined the Reno Mayor’s Task Force and Governor’s Medical Advisory Team. Dr. BCW co-chairs the Nevada State Medical Association Equity and Diversity Committee. She participates in speaking engagements providing information on health inequities and their impact on marginalized communities’ health and lives. She serves on Silver Summit Healthplan and the Community Health Alliance boards.

As the new President of the Washoe County Medical Society, Dr. Curry-Winchell will continue to advocate for healthcare equity and work towards improving healthcare access and outcomes for all community members. She and her husband enjoy life in Reno-Tahoe with their two young girls.
Congratulations to Dr. Curry-Winchell on her appointment as President.  The community looks forward to her leadership in advancing the society’s mission.

Dr. BCW – Washoe County Medical Society President