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How black pharmacists close the cultural gap in healthcare



Once the change in health insurance made Bernard Maeken break his ties with his black doctor, he was trying to find another African-American doctor online. Then he realized that two health advocates hid in a prominent place.

At a nearby pharmacy here, in the suburbs outside St. Louis, two pharmacists became unexpected allies of Macon and his wife Brandy. Like Makons, the pharmacists were energetic young parents who were married – and irrepressibly black.

Vincent and Lekeysha Williams, who own a pharmacy for health and wellness, did not hesitate to help when Brandy had difficulty getting the medicine she had before and after her sinus surgery last year. Williams called when Brandy, a medical assistant who had worked in medicine for 1

5 years, did not feel heard from his doctor's office.

"They have completely gone beyond and beyond," says 36-year-old Bernard Macon. a computer programmer and a father of two. "They turned what might have been a bad experience into a good experience."

Nowadays, more than ever, the Mackons rely on black medical specialists to give their family better care. The children of Macon see a black pediatrician. A black dentist cares for their teeth. Brandy Macon relies on the black gynecologist. Now the two black pharmacists fill the gap for Bernard Macon while he is looking for a doctor in his primary care on his network, giving him trusted confidence that chain pharmacies are unlikely to be.

Black Americans continue to face persistent differences in healthcare. Compared to their white colleagues, black men and women are more likely to die of heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, flu, pneumonia, diabetes and AIDS, according to the Office of Minority Health.


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