Racial Health Inequities

African American young man in wearing a protective medical mask and vest.

The COVID-19 disaster was decades in the making

Heather Orom

Heather Orom headshot.

Friday, June 12, 2020
Noon-1 p.m. EST

The rate of deaths from COVID-19 is more than 6 times higher and the rate of infection more than 3 times higher in predominantly African American counties than predominantly White counties. In Buffalo, the highest rates of COVID cases and deaths have been in predominantly African American neighborhoods. In this webinar we will tackle difficult subjects, including the political and economic decisions and adverse social determinants that created the conditions for our current trajectory.  

About Heather Orom
Dr. Heather Orom is an associate professor of community health and health behavior in the School of Public Health and Health Professions. She is also the school’s associate dean for equity, diversity and inclusion. Her first line of research is on the causes of health disparities. She has conducted research on inequities in cancer care, with a focus on prostate cancer. Dr. Orom also has a line of research on a new dimension of perceived risk for illness, uncertainty about perceived risk. Traditionally, it has been assumed that people can nearly always judge their personal risk for disease. However, several studies by Dr. Orom and colleagues indicate that this is not the case and that people who are uncertain about their risk are less likely to engage in protective behavior. The team has been exploring both the underlying causes of uncertainty about perceived risk and its behavioral consequences. Dr. Orom teaches a graduate level course on health inequities.