Breonna Taylor statement

We, The Association of Black Women Physicians continue to move forward in our advocacy for the lives of Black Women. We are fighting two Pandemics: Racism and COVID-19. The killing of George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey and Breonna Taylor remind us that systemic racism and implicit bias are as lethal as diseases that affect our communities. As physicians on the front lines of these two pandemics we recognize that our work continues on outside of the exam room.


If “all lives” mattered, the standard for a drug raid in Malibu or Cherokee Gardens would have been used on Elliot Avenue. If “all lives” mattered, professionals would be prudent in the use of force in response to non-violent crime. If “all lives” mattered, potential innocent victims would be included in the calculus of decision-making


Breonna Taylor was not the subject of any criminal inquiry when she was shot six times in a botched raid. No hostage was saved. No mass murderer was apprehended. A drug case merited jeopardizing Breonna and her neighbors’ lives.


She and her family did not receive justice. Black women deserve more. We need accountability for the decision to execute a no-knock warrant. Breonna Taylor deserved the presumption of innocence and concern for her future. Released jail recordings show the subject of the investigation admitted having no contact with Breonna. We have had enough of the lack of accountability and consequences for those that continue to murder Black bodies. We applaud the changes in the warrant approval and oversight process but grieve these changes arose from the death of an innocent sister.


Black Lives Matter. Black Women Matter.


The Association of Black Women Physician condemns the injustice of our criminal justice system that does not hold officers accountable. We call for police reform. We call for an end of structural racism. We call for implicit bias training in the medical and justice system. We encourage government officials to continue to their part to build a more equitable system for all. Now is the time to be intentional.

Rest in peace Dr. Susan Moore

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health ( care) is the most shocking and inhumane.” Martin Luther King Jr.

The irony of Dr. Susan Moore’s video shocked us. In advocating for herself, she advocated for others as her last act of service. The Association of Black Women Physicians (ABWP), the longest continuously operating professional association of Black women physicians in the US, extends our heartfelt condolences to her loved ones.

We agree with Dr. Aletha Maybek, “If a physician can’t be heard by her own peers to save her life, then who will listen?” Dr. Moore’s credentials and experience as a physician did not help her as she repeatedly advocated for herself up until her demise. Dr. Moore’s death will be another disproportionate statistic in the COVID Pandemic that egregiously displays healthcare inequities in our broken system.

As physicians familiar with COVID-19 treatment, we challenge the notion that she received technically excellent care.

The need for accountability by the Indiana healthcare system and the larger medical community, in the death of Dr. Moore is a given. Failure to investigate the circumstances surrounding Dr. Moore’s care and put forth corrective anti-racist action sends a message that her mistreatment and subsequent death is inconsequential.

Because this is the second hospital death of a Black physician in less than 90 days, we call for mandated patient advocacy, anti-racist policies, accountability, leadership and funding to ensure success of these initiatives.

We charge Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson to implement emergency regulations defining 30-day pneumonia readmissions as a quality of care problem, and maternal deaths as a never event, permitting health plans and the Department of Health to aggressively investigate. Indiana’s maternal mortality rate is two times greater than the national average. Poor healthcare quality is costly and affects all of us. The Indiana Department of Insurance and the Indiana State Department of Health must collaborate to develop financial sanctions to ensure equitable outcomes. If lacking this authority, we ask Governor Eric Holcomb to call for a special legislative session to enact necessary reform and rulemaking.

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New California Law Requires Bias Training for Physicians and other Medical Providers

On Friday October 11, 2019 Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB464 that expands women’s reproductive health care rights and helps reduce preventable maternal morbidity and mortality among Black women by requiring implicit bias training for all doctors and medical providers, including those providing prenatal care.

“Black women do deserve better,” states California Senator Holly Mitchell and ABWP’s 2018 Humanitarian of the Year Recipient. “When we recognize that the black maternal mortality rate is four times higher of other racial groups that is why the bill is before you today.”


ABWP Keeps On Giving

Magazine of the Tufts University Medical and Sackler Alumni Associations



Why I Give
Ana Lopes Johnson, M01

By Helene Ragovin

FAMILY DOCTOR Lopes Johnson grew up in Rhode Island, the child of Cape Verdean immigrants. Her father developed Parkinson’s disease and died from complications when she was sixteen—the experience of watching her parents navigate the world of doctors and hospitals set the course for her career. “There were not many physicians who looked like us,” Lopes Johnson said. “There was always a language barrier. I wanted to rewrite the script.” She chose primary care: “I had that vision of being that doctor who did everything.” She practices family medicine with Facey Medical Group in Mission Hills, California, and is president of the Association of Black Women Physicians.

SUPPORT SYSTEM From the open-door policy at the office of student affairs, to the advice from deans during rotations and residency decisions, the School of Medicine buoyed Lopes Johnson and helped her succeed. In appreciation, she has been a loyal backer of the Annual Fund. “The challenges I had are similar to the ones students are facing now: the cost of attendance, the fears of the unknown,” she said.

FULL CIRCLE Lopes Johnson and her family sponsored a dissection table in the new Michael Jaharis Jr. M87P, H15 Anatomy Lab. “I remember going to the anatomy lab the first day, and I couldn’t cut the cadaver because I did not have closure on my father’s death,” recalled Lopes Johnson. So the School of Medicine connected her with a counselor. “It was transformational,” she said. And so many years later, “when the opportunity to donate a table presented itself, it was an opportunity for me to build a legacy; to say thank you to the administrators who were kind and helped me find my way; and to change the future for another medical student who will write a new page in Tufts’ history,” she said. “It has given me a chance to go full circle.”

Every Gift Counts. Did you know that nearly 75 percent of donors to Tufts give $250 or less each year? Learn more at

CMA Doc: Valencia Walker, M.D.

Why improving patient and public health must involve physicians.

  • June 12, 2017

Photo: Ari Moshayedi, Physician Magazine.

“The work that needs to be done (in promulgating state legislation for public health), must involve physicians,” she said. “We can translate many of our critical thinking and problem-solving skills from medicine into the public policy arena. Also, we must help people see why and how we are so dedicated to doing the best that we can for our patients and our patients’ families.” – Valencia Walker, M.D.

Name: Valencia Walker, M.D.
Specialty: Neonatology
City: Los Angeles
Member Since: 2006

A career in medicine was not initially what Valencia Walker, M.D., pictured for herself. In high school, she dreamed of being an archaeologist, but eventually realized she “didn’t want to be in dirt all the time.” Under the guidance of her parents and a supportive high school science teacher, she realized she had a natural curiosity for science. “I fell in love with my biology classes and couldn’t believe how easy it seemed for me,” she said. Armed with a clearer vision of her talents and goals, she set her sights becoming a physician.


“My mom and dad didn’t have college degrees, but they taught us to love learning and helping others. Becoming a physician seemed like the perfect way to do both,” said Dr. Walker. “It is a challenging and rewarding profession that always demands our best.”


Today, she provides round the clock critical care to babies as a neonatologist in Los Angeles. She works tirelessly for her “children” and as an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.


Her engagement in organized medicine began soon after completing her medical training and moving to California. She has been a member of the California Medical Association (CMA) and the Los Angeles County Medical Association since 2013.


This year, Dr. Walker had an unexpected opportunity to serve as Chair of CMA’s Council on Legislation. She decided to “be fearless and jump into it” because it represented a chance to work closely with incredibly passionate advocates and strong leaders.


“The dedication and commitment displayed by so many who take time away from their practices to participate in shaping the future of health and medicine in California is humbling and inspiring,” Dr. Walker said.


Dr. Walker’s decision to get involved in organized medicine came from her dedication to her patients and was inspired by history. “Physicians have been doing this work for hundreds of years,” she said.  She points to Rudolf Virchow as a good example. He was a German physician, anthropologist, pathologist, biologist, writer, editor and politician —  known for his advancement of public health, she said. “He firmly believed that physicians were politicians, and he was a very outspoken advocate for his patients.” 


As a physician, she says, she can advocate for social and political reform as part of her efforts to improve patient and public health. “The work that needs to be done (in promulgating state legislation for public health), must involve physicians,” she said. “We can translate many of our critical thinking and problem-solving skills from medicine into the public policy arena. Also, we must help people see why and how we are so dedicated to doing the best that we can for our patients and our patients’ families.”


At the recent CMA Legislative Advocacy Day, Dr. Walker shared her personal experience of playing in her high school orchestra. She contrasted the cacophony of noises made by instruments all trying to be heard  with the various individual physicians in California. She then reminded CMA members that CMA provides the opportunity for thousands of California physicians to unite their individual voices into a powerful symphony that can move people to effective change. “From cacophony to symphony, we are stronger, more effective and incredibly effective when we find unity within our diverse perspectives,” said Dr. Walker.


Dr. Walker is also immediate past president of the Black Women Physicians Association and finds time to volunteer on medical missions to Guatemala, Tanzania and Haiti.


California’s doctors aren’t just health care and medical experts. They’re also community leaders, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and policymakers dedicated to ensuring that patients receive quality health care at an affordable cost. #CMAdocs showcases California physicians leading the charge to help their communities thrive.

Dr. La Tanya R. Hines Plans On Making A Difference At Kaiser Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw



By Brian W. Carter, Staff Writer

Published September 14, 2017

Kaiser Permanente (KP) Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical opened Thursday, September 7, to the community. The new facility in the heart of South L.A. is a step forward toward bringing easy access to healthcare in an area with specific needs.  Hines, M.D., OB/GYN is about bringing those specific needs to the community.

“I am a California native, born and raised in South Central Los Angeles,” said Hines, “born and raised on 45th and Western, so I’m right down the street.” She remembers that this new facility sits on what used to be Santa Barbara Blvd and the many changes that have occurred over the decades.

Hines’ journey towards becoming a doctor is one that started with the influence of her family. Her grandmother was one of the first African Americans to attend Bishop College in Texas. Her grandparents would later move to California with no family or friends and put down roots.

“[Grandmother] absolutely believed in education, she believed in reading, so I, from a very, very young age, knew how to read and write well,” said Hines.

[see Dr. Hines for the complete article]

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HIV and WOMEN: Case Series

HIVm_9-10 HIVi_9-10 HIVf_9-10 HIVe_9-10 HIVg_9-10 HIVp_9-10

Our most excellent guest speaker:

Princy N. Kumar, MD, MACP
Professor of Medicine and Microbiology
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine
Senior Associate Dean of Students; Georgetown University School of Medicine

@Harold & Belles on September 10th, 2017