On July 21, Ropes & Gray hosted “COVID and Race: A Conversation with Leaders in Health Care” (links to video), an hour-long conversation about the complex issues at the intersection of race and COVID-19. The panelists, prominent thinkers in the health care space, discussed longstanding disparities in access to and delivery of health care, and the significant effects of these disparities on health and health outcomes. The panel also examined what our communities can do to turn learnings from the pandemic into action while the pandemic is still actively spreading and taking hold.
Opening remarks were given by firm chair Julie Jones, JD and Betsy Nabel, MD, president, Brigham Health. Neal Baer, MD, pediatrician, television writer and producer, who was an executive producer of ER, moderated the panel. The panelists included:
- Mark Barnes, JD, LLM, partner at Ropes & Gray, a leader in the planning, conduct and regulation of clinical trials and professor of health law and ethics.
- Zara Cooper, MD, MSc, trauma surgeon and ICU physician and a leader of the Brigham’s task force on pandemic recovery and reimagining efforts.
- Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, physician and anthropologist and a pioneer in contact tracing and community response to infectious disease, professor of global health and social medicine, co-founder of Partners in Health and Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at the Brigham.
- Jose Figueroa, MD, MPH, internist and public health researcher focused on improving the quality of health care for complex and vulnerable populations.
- Valerie Stone, MD, MPH, primary care and infectious disease physician and researcher, professor of medicine and Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Brigham.
Ahead of the discussion, participants were encouraged to read a short article from the New England Journal of Medicine, “Racial Disparities and COVID-19 – Caution and Context.”
Several sources of data were cited during the discussion, including data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and APM Research Lab. The Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard also offers important resources.
The event was organized by merger & acquisitions and capital markets partner Emily Oldshue, JD.
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