Vice President Health Equity
Spectrum Health – BHSH System
Health is a non-negotiable human right. Yet, in Berrien County, Michigan, a stark racial divide exists between those who have good health and those who do not. More than 75 percent of African-Americans, who comprise 15 percent of the population, live in census tracts where the death rate is up to 75 percent higher than county, state, and national averages. Health behaviors and access to health care underlie these disparities, but they don’t tell the whole story. Racism plays an insidious role not only by blocking access to resources and opportunities required to obtain care and engage in healthy behaviors, but also by stimulating human neurological and physiological processes that harm health. Lynn is using insights from fields such as social neuroscience, genomics, and epigenetics to deepen understanding of the impact of racism on health, and to reframe the narrative about why racial health inequities exist and how to address them.
MORE ABOUT LYNN
A native of Chicago, Lynn grew up in a time of fervent activism in her spirited South Side community. Combined with training and work in the field of urban and regional planning, her perspective on community health is both broad and steeped in a commitment to social justice and social action.