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Opinion: I’m trying to reverse African-Americans’ distrust of medicine one blood donor at a time

I'm trying to reverse African-Americans' distrust of doctors and the health care system — one patient and one blood drive at a time.

African-Americans have historically received less-than-optimal medical care, in part because they don’t trust physicians or the health care system. They come by this distrust honestly: think of the exploitation of African-American men in the Tuskegee experiment, or the unauthorized use of Henrietta Lacks’s cells for scientific discovery and monetary gain.

I’m trying to change this dynamic one patient and one blood drive at a time.

As a pediatric hematologist, I treat children with blood disorders like anemia, leukemia, thalassemia, and sickle cell disease. The latter affects about 100,000 Americans, most of whom are African-American.

They have a

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