Black History Month

Black History Month is a time to celebrate the great achievements and commemorate important Black heroes and events throughout our history. It’s also a time to reflect and raise awareness of racial and ethnic disparities across all the health care sectors.

There’s always more work to be done, and the Global Healthy Living Foundation is committed to continue this work through honoring, amplifying, and uplifting the experiences of those living with chronic illness in the Black community.

In honor of Black History Month, we’ve dedicated this space to celebrating patients from the Black community who are helping to make a difference, bridging the gap and shining a light on health care disparities. Please take time to read through — and share their experiences this month and beyond.

Patient Profiles

Black History, Patient Voices: Advocating for Equity Beyond February

We turned to our patient leaders in the Black community for their insights on representation and health equity. We encourage you to read their words and reflect on how we can apply their knowledge to create a more equitable future for all patients.

Reevaluating Goals with Your Doctor

Nurse and patient advocate Catina Morrison shares tips for how to talk with your doctor about assessing goals and changing course when needed.

Wash Day and Chronic Illness

Patient advocate Tiffany Peterson takes us through her journey of Wash Day — a ritual that holds deep significance in the lives of many Black women — and tips for making it easier with chronic illness.

Navigating IBD and LGBTQ+ Identity: Krys Baxter’s Diagnosis Journey

“I remember walking out and being like, oh my gosh, I have an answer. I know what’s wrong with me. Not to hurt, not to have to rush to the bathroom, or constantly have puke bags with me all the time.”

Michelle Walters-Johnson “Don’t Let Alopecia Be the Thing to Beat You – You Beat It”

Michelle Walters-Johnson, 51, a mother and the director of graduate admissions at the University of Baltimore. But since 2018, she’s also been the Lady Behind the Wig, committed to educating, empowering, and supporting other women who, like her, have alopecia.

Tien’s story of living with osteoporosis

Through her experience with multiple osteoporosis-related fractures, she sheds light on the condition’s early effects and how it impacts daily living in hopes to educate and inform others about the risks associated with multiple fractures and ways to help prevent them and address osteoporosis in daily life.

Nika’s Journey with IgG4-RD: A Story of Resilience and Self-Advocacy

After a 17-year diagnosis journey to IgG4-Related Disease, Nika is sharing her story and lessons to help others become proactive patients.

Joshua’s Ulcerative Colitis Story: “I Didn’t Have a Lot of Exposure to What This Condition Was”

Read about one Black patient’s journey with ulcerative colitis, and how it took three years to finally receive a diagnosis.

Christele Felix’s Lupus Story: “This Is the Best I’ve Ever Been”

Christele Felix rises to the challenges of living with lupus and inspires others through her advocacy work with LupusChat.

Raven Miller’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Story: “I Found My Motivation”

Discover how Raven Miller, a single mom and creator of Raven Takes RA, has reached a place of balance, optimism, and strength.

Jaime Sanders’ Migraine Story: Blogging to Empower Others

Learn how Jaime Sanders, “The Migraine Diva,” uses blogging as a way to share her journey and empower others toward advocacy and self care.

Shantana’s RA Story: “The Color of My Skin Shouldn’t Determine the Quality of Treatment I Get”

Shantana shares what it was liked to get diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a Black woman, and why she wants others to know her story.

Eula Moore’s Story: Veterans Coping with Migraine

A veteran from Blue Island, Illinois, shares how she started having migraine attacks during her time in the Gulf War.

Kevin’s Ankylosing Spondylitis Story: “My Life’s Not Over, It’s Changed”

Kevin shares his experience of getting diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis after a decade of symptoms.

The Stigma of Talking About Pain: A Black Man’s Perspective

Qasim reflects on his journey on living in pain with chronic migraine and challenging and addressing the stigma of talking about pain, specifically for Black men.

Roz’s Ankylosing Spondylitis: My BackStory

Even with a strong family history of ankylosing spondylitis, Roz was misdiagnosed for decades.

18 Black Chronic Illness Patient Advocates Fighting to Change Equity in Health Care

These GHLF members with a wide range of chronic illnesses are sharing their stories and speaking up for fellow patients in marginalized communities who too often feel voiceless.

This Pfizer Scientist Helped Develop the COVID-19 Vaccine

When we think back to the start of the pandemic, we remember all the ways — big and small — our lives completely changed.

Reflections on Father’s Day and Parenting with Migraine

Qasim shares his lessons and challenges that he’s learned living with migraine and parenting (and grandparenting).

Webinar and Health Equity Table Talk Discussions

Melanin Health Table Talks | Representation in Healthcare Settings: A Convo with Melanated Health Care

At this table talk, we are joined by Dr. Lecresha Sewell, DNP, APN, and Dr. Whitney Graves, DNP, APRN of Melanated Healthcare.

Melanin Health Table Talks| Wellness Evolution: Natural Hair and What It Really Means

During this virtual event, we will be discussing:
The insights and connection between hair and mental health
The cultural and societal impact of hair for BIPOC communities, especially for Black communities
The intersection of chronic illness and hair health
The importance of breaking down stereotypes and fostering self-love

Itching to Know About Psoriasis? A HEROES Webinar about Hair, Skin and Scalp Health

Learn about psoriasis, its symptoms, and how to create a supportive, stigma-free environment. Gain the skills to have empathetic conversations and help guide your clients toward proper treatment.

Melanin Health Table Talks Instagram Live Discussion: Black Men Have Migraine Awareness Month

Join us for this special episode of Melanin Health Table Talks where we had a candid discussion with GHLF migraine patient advocates, Qasim Amin and Kevin on their experiences living with a chronic illness as Black men and the different obstacles and barriers they’ve had to navigate.

Health Care Disparities

Studies Suggests Systemic Racism Might Contribute to Inflammation

Researchers examine yet another negative health consequence of discrimination: increased inflammation and a higher risk for inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

#CreakyChats: Honoring Black History Month

Discover valuable insights from our #CreakyChats community on the challenges faced by members of the Black chronic illness community.

Are People Dying from COVID-19 Because They are Black in America? An African American Cancer Survivor Speaks Out

 If we are truly “all in this together” — as all the COVID-19 public health messaging would have you believe — we need to identify, examine, and solve this problem together.

Black Lives Matter – Why We Must Keep Showing Up for Racial Justice and Equality

We aimed to let our Black communities know that we see you, hear you, and support you.

Racism Is a Pandemic – A Statement from the Global Healthy Living Foundation

Now — more than ever — we must speak out against the institutional oppression and systemic disregard for black and brown lives in America.

Study: Black Ankylosing Spondylitis Patients Have More Inflammation and Comorbid Conditions

An improved risk stratification and vigilance for early diagnosis and treatment of AS particularly in African American patients in needed.

Webinar: Racism in Health Care Why Should You Care

Learn more about the profound impact of racism in health care on people from the BIPOC community and what must be done to fix it.

Uneven Opioid Prescription Rates May Leave Black Patients Undertreated and White Patients Overtreated

New study found that white patients are more likely to be prescribed stronger doses of opioids than Black patients within the same health care systems.

BIPOC Patient Voices Living With Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

Managing a condition like psoriasis (PsO) or psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can be challenging – and perhaps even more challenging for Black, Indigenous, People or Color (BIPOC).

Navigating Black Hair and Scalp Psoriasis

Treatments for scalp psoriasis often don’t account for the textures, hair care regimens, and styling techniques common among Black people. Here, solutions for advocating for yourself and finding relief.

Testing Covid-Positive: My Experience as a Black, Disabled, Immunocompromised Woman

I hope my story humanizes the experience of having COVID for people. We are people you know and love and we might die because you won’t wear a mask.

Podcast Episodes

Health Equity and Black History Month

The Health Advocates are joined by Sarah Shaw, Senior Manager of BIPOC Community Outreach at GHLF, for a discussion on the disproportionate burden of chronic disease in the Black community, barriers to health care, racism in health care, and ultimately, how we can come together as a community and advocate year-round.

Thriving While Aching – Filling the Gaps, From Challenge to Change: Aisha’s Story of Resilience

In this episode, we dive into the unique story of Aisha, a young Black woman who stepped into the role of caregiver when her mother was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

Wellness Evolution – “It’s Okay to Not be Okay: A Journey to Mental Illness Advocacy” with Pamela Price

Pamela a sheds light on the challenges faced by health care professionals from marginalized communities and the impact of their work in creating a more equitable health care system.

Relatable Rheumatology – Blood Work in Rheumatoid Arthritis – Deen Allen Jr.

We are joined by Dr. Liana Fraenkel, attending rheumatologist at the Berkshire Medical Center and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Yale University, and Deen Allen, a PhD in cosmetic chemistry and patient advocate who lives with RA

Relatable Rheumatology – Exploring Chronic Pain – with guests Dr. Beth Darnall and Tien Sydnor-Campbell

“Why does chronic pain affect the whole person?”
In our third episode of Relatable Rheumatology: From Stories to Studies, we explore chronic pain and our expanding understanding of its impact on both body and mind.

Let’s Get Personal – Dr. Wright

Wright talks to us about the relationship between a rheumatologist and a patient, and how good communication is key to finding the right RA treatment.

The Asthma Podcast, Carly’s Story

Carly offers her unique perspective and valuable insight as a person living with lupus and asthma.

The Health Advocates – Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment: Understanding Polymyalgia Rheumatica with Dr. Grace Wright

“I think the most important thing always in rheumatology is to remember the [patient] story is the most critical,” says Dr. Grace Wright.

The Health Advocates – The Road to an IgG4-RD Diagnosis: How Nika Beamon Advocated

Nika shares her 17-year journey to an IgG4-RD diagnosis, including how she advocated for herself. She offers valuable tips for fellow chronic illness patients, highlighting the unique considerations people with autoimmune diseases have in everyday life.

The Health Advocates- Advocating this Black History Month

The hosts discuss the importance of sharing Black patient stories this Black History Month while shining a light on health disparities.

Thriving While Aching, Beverly’s Story

Meet Beverly Rogers, a woman who grew up during the civil rights movement. She was diagnosed with breast cancer, and shares how she used her experience to advocate for health care.

Wellness Evolution – It’s Just Hair – Or Is It? Respecting Your Crown

Learn about the bias in natural hair discrimination, and hair stigmas when growing up in mixed race and BIPOC communities as well as the physical and mental connection that many of us have with our hair.

Gut Culture – Are There Any Black People with IBD

In this episode we hear from gastroenterologist Dr. Florence Odufalu, and why she treats patients in ethnically diverse and underserved communities.

Let’s Get Personal, Alexis’ Story

Alexis talks about the importance of coming to terms with your diagnosis, doing your own research, and being persistent in your RA treatment and care.

Accepting a Helping Paw, A Conversation with Candace Camper

Candace, the creator of an Instagram account that documents her migraine journey, talks about how her service dog, Clea, helps her manage migraine and seizures.

Jaime Sanders, the Migraine Diva

Hear why Jaime calls herself the Migraine Diva, and how it touches everything from her migraine advocacy to the need for self-care.


When you think of migraine many of us don’t think of or see Black men. Meet Qasim Amin Nathari, who takes us on his migraine journey while getting deep about the intersections of race, masculinity, and faith.

TikTok Migraine Doc

Sarah Shaw and her doctor Courtney White, MD, discuss the need to educate the medical profession on the many symptoms of migraine so they can better serve patients in the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities

The Psoriatic Arthritis Club, Diane’s Story

As a woman of color who grew up poor, Diane endured decades of inadequate treatment, misdiagnosis, and stigma.

Don’t Let Them Gaslight Your Health

Meet Catina Morrison, who is using her own experiences living with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis to teach others how to overcome stigma.

Becoming a Health Advocate Through Grief

Rashaunda Shaw became a health advocate when her mother and sister were both hospitalized and dying. Now, she’s turned her grief into purpose.

Black, Queer, and in Pain

Sarah Reneé, a patient advocate, shares her experiences of navigating migraine care as a person in various marginalized communities.

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