March 2021

Features:

Starting lower left and clockwise: Sandra Lindsay, Barbara Nichols, Dr. Jazmine Zapata, Damon Boatwright, and Dr. Sheryl Henderson. 
There are three reasons I chose a profession in journalism. The first and obvious one is that I love to bring a story to light through writing. Secondly, no two days for a journalist are ever the same … redundancy bores more.  Finally, being a journalist allows me to be a student of life’s everyday challenges, its ups and downs, and its historic moments.
Black Americans are still receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at dramatically lower rates than white Americans even as the chaotic rollout reaches more people, according to a new Kaiser Health News (KHN) analysis.
One of our heroes on the frontline of the COVID war is Dr. Jasmine Y. Zapata. Like several medical professionals, she sprang into action when the coronavirus invaded Dane County in early 2020. Zapata, a UW Health newborn hospitalist practicing at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, and board-certified preventive medicine physician witnessed firsthand the ravages that this disease can inflict, and racial disparities illuminated amid the mounting crisis.
Hospitals were bulging at the seams. Waiting rooms overflowing. Supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other medical equipment waning. Overwhelmed medical professionals were scrambling to control this strange disease that was killing their patients in record numbers.
Leonard Davis remembers waking up dazed and confused on the cold floor of his Victorian home in Milwaukee. For nearly a week, he’d been battling an illness 10 times worse than any flu he ever got before. Breathless from the few steps he’d take to get to the bathroom, he finished, turned the light off, slowly walked out, and his body went limp. He laid unconscious for nearly 30 minutes.
Looking back at 2020, SSM Health Wisconsin Regional President Damond Boatwright says one word resonates with him: Resilience. “We really had to be resilient to work through the myriad of problems, issues and obstacles thrown our way throughout the pandemic,” reflected Boatwright.
The world was watching, and she didn’t realize it. A rapid-firing of camera shutters coupled with throngs of eager reporters stunned Sandra Lindsay as she walked into a room to receive the newly approved Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19. The critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, rolled up her sleeve and, unbeknownst to her, became the first in the United States to receive the life-saving inoculation.
With millions of older Americans eligible for COVID-19 vaccines and limited supplies, many continue to describe a frantic and frustrating search to secure a shot, beset by uncertainty and difficulty.

UMOJA Inside:


Faces of COVID War

Starting lower left and clockwise: Sandra Lindsay, Barbara Nichols, Dr. Jazmine Zapata, Damon Boatwright, and Dr. Sheryl Henderson. 



UMOJA Publisher/Editor: Faces of COVID-19

There are three reasons I chose a profession in journalism. The first and obvious one is that I love to bring a story to light through writing. Secondly, no two days for a journalist are ever the same … redundancy bores more.  Finally, being a journalist allows me to be a student of life’s everyday challenges, its ups and downs, and its historic moments.



As Vaccine Rollout Expands, Black Americans Still Left Behind

Black Americans are still receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at dramatically lower rates than white Americans even as the chaotic rollout reaches more people, according to a new Kaiser Health News (KHN) analysis.



COVID-19 and the Risk to Medical Professionals

One of our heroes on the frontline of the COVID war is Dr. Jasmine Y. Zapata. Like several medical professionals, she sprang into action when the coronavirus invaded Dane County in early 2020. Zapata, a UW Health newborn hospitalist practicing at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, and board-certified preventive medicine physician witnessed firsthand the ravages that this disease can inflict, and racial disparities illuminated amid the mounting crisis.



Traveling ICU Nurse Aleta Allen Witnessed the Worst of COVID-19

Hospitals were bulging at the seams. Waiting rooms overflowing. Supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other medical equipment waning. Overwhelmed medical professionals were scrambling to control this strange disease that was killing their patients in record numbers.



He Knocked on Hell’s Door

Leonard Davis remembers waking up dazed and confused on the cold floor of his Victorian home in Milwaukee. For nearly a week, he’d been battling an illness 10 times worse than any flu he ever got before. Breathless from the few steps he’d take to get to the bathroom, he finished, turned the light off, slowly walked out, and his body went limp. He laid unconscious for nearly 30 minutes.



SSM Health’s Damon Boatwright: ‘The vaccines are truly a shot of hope.’

Looking back at 2020, SSM Health Wisconsin Regional President Damond Boatwright says one word resonates with him: Resilience. “We really had to be resilient to work through the myriad of problems, issues and obstacles thrown our way throughout the pandemic,” reflected Boatwright.



The Shot ‘Heard’ Around the World

The world was watching, and she didn’t realize it. A rapid-firing of camera shutters coupled with throngs of eager reporters stunned Sandra Lindsay as she walked into a room to receive the newly approved Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19. The critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, rolled up her sleeve and, unbeknownst to her, became the first in the United States to receive the life-saving inoculation.



‘Cruel’ Digital Race For Vaccines Leaves Many Seniors Behind

With millions of older Americans eligible for COVID-19 vaccines and limited supplies, many continue to describe a frantic and frustrating search to secure a shot, beset by uncertainty and difficulty.



Madison Physician Provides Authoritative Voice to Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

It is the biggest public health crisis of our lifetime and while new data suggests brighter times might be on the horizon, tens of millions of Americans remain unsure about taking coronavirus vaccine shots.



Crucial Role of Nurses In Pandemic Enhanced

Inequality in infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue as the U.S. surpassed 500,000 COVID-19 related deaths. The persistent undercurrent of disparities in health care emphasizes the urgent need for a better prepared nursing workforce.



Viral Sequencing Catches Mutations

Thousands of daily cases. Hundreds of thousands of deaths. Hundreds of millions of vaccine doses. As the tallies of COVID-19’s effects in the United States have mounted to a dizzying scale, a team of University of Wisconsin–Madison scientists has kept its focus on the tiniest shifts in the virus’s genetic material.



Urban League COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Put Lots of Smiles on Faces

Deloris Peyton has been isolated in her home since the COVID-19 pandemic creeped in to almost every aspect of daily life. News that vaccines were available sent the 75-year-old great grandmother on the hunt for weeks in search of the life-saving injection. 



One year later: President Daniels Talks About COVID-19’s Impact on Education

It was one year ago, that COVID-19 turned our world upside down.



Dr. Shenikqua Bouges: Researcher Named UW ‘Outstanding Woman of Color’

Dr. Shenikqua Bouges chose to bypass lucrative clinical practice options to pursue dementia research and academic teaching that will impact and create meaningful change for underrepresented populations.



Pulling Back the Curtains Surrounding Deep-Seated Sport Inequities

A year of brazen social upheaval and demands for racial justice wasn’t enough to rattle the status quo. The Associated Press found the number of Black head coaches in the 130-member Football Bowl Subdivision has dipped from a mere 13 to an even shrimpier 11 heading into the 2021 season.



The Paradox of the Pandemic: Laborers Struggle While Investors Thrive

There’s nothing like a pandemic to unearth festering disparities on multiple levels. While we were already aware of the wealth gap, the education gap, the health care gap, and the incarceration gap, the pandemic highlighted and exacerbated all of these, and then some. 



Dasha Kelly Hamilton

The Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission has selected Dasha Kelly Hamilton of Milwaukee to serve as the Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2021–2022. The Wisconsin Poet Laureate plays a crucial role in keeping the arts accessible and vital to all age groups, and acts as a statewide emissary for poetry and creativity.



UMOJA SHORTS — March 2021

Vernon Jordan, Civil Rights Leader and D.C. Power Broker, Dies at 85 Mr. Jordan, who was selected to head the National Urban League while still in his 30s, counseled presidents and business leaders. The New York Times Vernon E. Jordan Jr., the civil rights leader and Washington power broker whose private counsel was sought in [...]