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083: Fibroid Awareness & Medical Racism w/ Tanika Gray Valbrun

Uninvisible Pod

083: Fibroid Awareness & Medical Racism w/ Tanika Gray Valbrun

Tanika Gray Valbrun is an award-winning journalist and women’s health educator. She is the founder of non-profit The White Dress Project, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness, raising funding, and…
July 15, 2020
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083: Fibroid Awareness & Medical Racism w/ Tanika Gray Valbrun

Tanika Gray Valbrun is an award-winning journalist and women’s health educator. She is the founder of non-profit The White Dress Project, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness, raising funding, and increasing education about uterine fibroids. Tanika lives with uterine fibroids herself, one of the 80% of Black women in the US to develop them. As the founder of The White Dress Project, Tanika has successfully worked with doctors, health advocates, and elected officials in multiple states to get legislation passed declaring July Fibroid Awareness Month. Recognized as a thought leader and patient advocate for uterine health, she has also spoken at various events domestically and internationally. In addition to encouraging women to be their own health advocates, Tanika works as a Content Producer for the CNN, where she has been awarded three coveted Peabody Awards for her contributions in journalism. She is also the recipient of Georgia Trend and Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Award. This episode is a special one, highlighting the current race crisis in America as well as raising further awareness of fibroids during Fibroid Awareness Month. We hope this interview will inspire you all to take action toward combating institutional and systemic racism, and to reconsider your experiences in the medical system through a sharp and discerning lens.

Tune in as Tanika shares:

  • that The White Dress project are authors of legislation that has gone through the US House declaring July Fibroid Awareness Month
  • that Tanika’s mother also has fibroids, and lost two sets of twins because of them
  • why The White Dress Project advocates for fighting to create a healthcare team that works in partnership with you
  • what fibroids are: benign tumors that can grow in or around a woman’s uterus, and can cause a host of issues from pain and heavy bleeding to bladder issues and miscarriage
  • that you can have fibroids and be asymptomatic
  • the importance of healthy lifestyle in maintaining long-term health and avoiding the growth of further fibroids
  • the psychological impact of living with fibroids
  • how bias has affected the care she’s received — from access to care as a thin woman, to race and gender
  • that Black women are disproportionately affected with fibroids — they grow larger, Black women are more symptomatic, and hysterectomy is often offered as a first course of treatment well before it’s typically offered to white women
  • how medical research in women’s health is affecting Black women’s care
  • why it’s important that women vote and run for office — and how this reflects back on our medical care
  • the importance of redefining the power dynamic of the patient-doctor relationship
  • how medical bias affects women’s health — and especially Black women’s health
  • why we all have to do internal work to eliminate bias
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