The Ann Arbor chapter of The Links Incorporated, an organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the Washtenaw County community, is planning an online event Sunday, November 7, 2021 to talk about COVID and kids as the third installment of its "State of Black Health" series.
WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the president of the local chapter, Lisa Bradley-Kern, about the event and information they are hoping to share.
Lisa Barry: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to travel its path through our lives nearly two years later, part of its current focus is on children. I'm Lisa Barry, and a local organization is planning an online presentation this weekend on the eve of vaccinations being provided for children ages five through 11 in Washtenaw County. And joining us now to talk about that is Lisa Bradley-Kern, president of the Ann Arbor chapter of The Links Incorporated. So, welcome, Lisa. And why don't you begin with a brief explanation of your organization?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: Hi, Lisa. Great. Thanks for having me. Yes. The Links Incorporated is an international nonprofit organization that was established back in 1946. As a national organization, we have over 16,000 professional women of African descent, and we expand across 41 states, District of Columbia, the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. The local chapter really does serve the Washtenaw County area, and we've been doing this since 1979, and our programing is really centered around our national organization facets, which are national trends, international trends, health and human services, the arts, and services to you.
Lisa Barry: So, what do you have planned for Sunday, November 7th?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: The local chapter has put together this series on the State of the Black Health. It's focusing off of our health and human services facet, as I mentioned, that our national organization organizes. To date, this series has focused on health issues in the Black community that have, as you mentioned, that has operated by the recent pandemic: vaccine awareness, hesitation, mental health, and emotional health. And our third series, that's coming up on Sunday, really is COVID and kids. And, as you mentioned, this is such a timely conversation because of what this recent announcement that five to 11 year olds are now able and eligible to get vaccinated. So, just making sure our community is getting expert, professional information to make that informed decision.
Lisa Barry: Who will be participating?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: So, we have two panelists. Both are doctors. One would be Dr. Anne James Boyd, who's actually a member of our chapter. She specializes in pediatrics at the I-H-A Pediatric Hospital Medicine at St. Joe here in Ann Arbor. And then, Dr. Yolaine Civil, who's a clinical instructor of pediatrics and communicable diseases at the University of Michigan. So, two experts in this area of pediatrics in making sure that our community is getting expert information and not just information that they're hearing off of, you know, the websites or off of Facebook. We want to make sure that people are getting expert information.
Lisa Barry: And they'll be providing information about children getting vaccinated?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: Yes, they'll be talking about, you know, information on--one issue really being there was a study on multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, and it really hit the Black children more so than in our community, probably than any other community. And even though it's a rare disease, it's a serious illness that is linked to, you know, COVID-19. So, just trying to make sure that we talk about what, you know, what challenges are out there and how this vaccine will be the key to making sure that our children are safe, because there's just so many different things that people always say, "Oh, well, kids don't have, you know, they don't suffer so much through COVID." Well, that may not always be the case. So, just making the case of why the vaccine is so important and why we really are trying to keep our kids safe.
Lisa Barry: Who do you anticipate will be interested in watching this?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: I would say anyone who, again, has kids, you know, between really the ages of five through, you know, 18, because all of our kids now are eligible to be vaccinated. And if anyone who's still thinking about should I, you know, should I get the vaccine for my child if there's any hesitation, which I understand. I mean, this is a very, very important decision that families have to make. But, again, I want to say that this is coming and listening to people who deal with pediatrics. Dr. Civil, who does, you know, dealing with communicable diseases, they're experts. And they'll be there giving their expert opinion and then also there to answer questions as people are making this decision, should I vaccinate or should I not vaccinate my children?
Lisa Barry: We'll put a link to the event in your organization on our website, WEMU dot org with this interview. But can you just tell us the basics? When and where and how we can participate?
Lisa Bradley-Kern: Yeah, sure. So the event will be held by Zoom on this Sunday, November seven at 2:00 p.m., and additional information can be found on our website, which is Ann Arbor Links dot org. Or you can find information on our web site at Ann Arbor Links both on Facebook and on Instagram.
Lisa Barry: Lisa Bradley-Kern, president of the Ann Arbor chapter of The Links Incorporated. Thanks for all you do for the community and talking to us here on 89 one WEMU.
Lisa Bradley-Kern: Thank you, Lisa. We really appreciate you helping us to promote this very important subject that just resonated within our community right now.
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