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In this four-part discussion series, host Mary C. Curtis will talk to advocates and experts about how structural and institutional racism has impacted the health care system and what can be done to change it.

Actress Alicia Cole Becomes Patient Advocate After Surviving Flesh-Eating Disease, Near Fatal Infections

COVID-19 's disproportionate impact on communities of color has forced the nation to confront how systemic racism has shaped both health and health care in this country.

In this four-part discussion series, host Mary C. Curtis will talk to advocates and experts about how structural and institutional racism has impacted the health care system and about what can be done to change it.

The series is brought to you by WFAE, Everyday Health, the health information giant; and ClearHealthCosts, an organization that creates transparency about medical costs.

In the second discussion Curtis talks to actress Alicia Cole who developed flesh-eating disease, sepsis and three life-threatening antibiotic-resistant infections after a minor surgery in 2006. The racial bias Cole said she encountered during her treatment prompted her to become a patient safety advocate. While still bedridden and recovering from six additional surgeries, Cole used a talk-to-type program to blog about her experience and call improvements in the health care system. She co-sponsored and lobbied successfully for passage of two California patient protection laws. Cole works with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others.

Date and Time: Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. ET

Zoom Link: https://bit.ly/racismandhealthcare2

About Mary C. Curtis:

Mary C. Curtis, a columnist at Roll Call, is an award-winning journalist and educator based in Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C. She is host of the CQ Roll Call podcast “Equal Time, with Mary C. Curtis.” She has contributed to NBC News, NPR, The Washington Post, The Root, ESPN's The Undefeated and talks politics on WCCB-TV and NPR-affiliate WFAE in Charlotte. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, the Charlotte Observer, the Baltimore Sun, and the Associated Press, and was national correspondent for AOL's Politics Daily. Her coverage specialty is the intersection of politics, culture and race, and she has covered the 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.

Curtis is a Senior Leader with The OpEd Project, facilitating “Write to Change the World” seminars, at Yale University, Cornell University, and the Ford Foundation and at the Aspen New Voices Fellowship in Johannesburg, South Africa. Curtis, a summa cum laude graduate of Fordham University, was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and a Kiplinger Fellow, in social media, at Ohio State.

Twitter: @mcurtisnc3
Website: https://www.maryccurtis.com/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-c-curtis-8a05497/

About Alicia Cole:

Alicia Cole is a keynote speaker, nationally recognized patient safety advocate and champion of patient engagement. President Obama shared her story during a nationally televised speech and her work was commended by former Secretary of Health & Human Services Sylvia Burwell. Alicia has received accolades from health care thought leaders and patient groups alike.

As a result of her experiences in the health care system, Cole helped co-sponsor and lobby successfully for passage of two California laws for Infection Prevention Education for health care workers with patient contact and public reporting of hospital infection rates. Her story of survival and activism has been featured on ABC 20/20, The Doctors, Ask Dr. Nandi, CBS, Fox News and TeleMundo. Her collaborative efforts to improve health care and promote transparency have been profiled in HEALTH Magazine, Consumer Reports, US News & World Reports, HealthLeaders Media and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

In 2014, Cole was recognized by the Caregiver Action Network as one of “25 of the Nation’s Best Practices in Patient and Family Engagement.”

Cole works with the Department of Health & Human Services, the CDC and others. She was a co-lead for the Partnership for Patients, Vulnerable Patient Populations Working Group and serves on the Global Patient & Family Advisory Board of the Beryl Institute. Alicia also serves on the Education and Awareness subcommittee of the California Department of Public Health’s Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee and the Wyoming Infection Prevention Advisory Group.

The Ohio State Alum returned to school and obtained a Post-Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management & Leadership from UCLA School of Public Health and UCLA Extension.