Schenectady City Council Recognizes Black History Month, Black Doctors – The Daily Gazette

SCHENECTADY — Days before the start of Black History Month, the city council paused briefly Monday to recognize the accomplishments of several black health care professionals.

Council members unanimously approved a ceremonial resolution recognizing Black History Month, which this year focuses on the theme of Black health and well-being, acknowledging the contributions and achievements of Black physicians .

“As we reflect on Black History Month and appreciate the historic contributions of black people to this country and to this world, it is very important that we recognize, understand and appreciate the material conditions of black people as they are right now,” Councilman Damonni said. Farley, who introduced the resolution alongside Councilman Carl Williams.

Farley pointed to recent efforts to pass voting reform measures in Congress — including the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would reinstate parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — that failed after being blocked by Senate Republicans earlier this month.

He also addressed the civil unrest seen in parts of the country in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd, a black man killed while in police custody, and said much of the impetus seems to have faded in the year since, there is still work to be done to ensure a just society for all.

“Now is the time for us as a governing body to ensure that we make decisions based on fairness, based on anti-racism, and uphold those values, not just in our words, but in our actions. shares,” Farley mentioned.

Five practicing physicians, including nurses and mental health professionals, were recognized for their contributions to the medical field.

The resolution was passed as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disproportionately impact black and brown communities across the country.

While whites account for the highest percentage of total infections and deaths, Hispanic and black communities have been affected at higher rates than their percentage of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC, members of the Hispanic and black communities are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized and die from COVID-19 as those who are white.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought social and racial injustice and inequality to the forefront of public health,” says a health equity assessment compiled by the agency. “This has highlighted that health equity is still not a reality as COVID-19 has unequally affected many racial and ethnic minority groups, putting them more at risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.”

The agency attributes the disparities to income levels, access to education and disparities in the country’s health system.

The disparities were not lost on Lois Mitchell, recognized for her 54 years as a registered nurse, who said the city has the ability to address disparities in the future and must work to do so.

“This pandemic has shown very, very clearly that brown and black communities have suffered deeply during this terrible time, and that must stop,” she said. “We here in the city of Schenectady can put an end to it.”

Others recognized include Nancy Gary, Donna Stevens, Patrick Jean Pierre and Keara Sease.

Contact journalist Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.

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Categories: News, Schenectady County

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