Bernice Patterson, PhD, was recently invited to participate in a panel discussion of community leaders that centered on the importance of building trust for the COVID-19 vaccine in minority communities.
The panel discussion, led by Spectrum Health, addressed a history of vaccine skepticism in the black community, where in the past controversial and inhumane medical trials and experiments have resulted in devastating consequences.
Dr. Patterson points out that building trust starts with having access to the right educational resources, which is something that may not be widely available in minority communities. Says Dr. Patterson:
“We speak of telling people to do your research. But if I’ve never had to do this type of research and I’m not necessarily equipped to do it, I need someone to guide me and be patient with me.”
Among others appearing on the panel were Walter Brame, former president of the Grand Rapids Urban League, Traci Burton, Education Advocate, and Joe Jones, Grand Rapids City Commissioner from the 2nd ward.
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Bernice Patterson, PhD, is a clinician with the Pine Rest Kalamazoo Clinic. She received her undergraduate education at the University of Michigan, master’s level training at Wheaton College, and her doctoral level training at Western Michigan University.
Bernice participates with Faith Community Outreach, an initiative within Pine Rest that seeks to connect area clergy, churches, and ministries to services available from Pine Rest; as well as develop new services specifically designed to benefit the faith community.