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Interview with Kimberly Garrison: Doctor wrote the book on African-American health

MICHELLE GOURDINE is on a mission to educate, engage and empower African-Americans to exceptional health and well-being. In her new book, Reclaiming Our Health: A Guide to African-American Wellness ($19.95, Yale University Press), the 48-year-old primary-care physician and health-policy specialist (she’s a former deputy secretary of health and chief public-health physician for the state of Maryland) gives us a long overdue diagnosis, prognosis and straight-talk prescription on how to heal ourselves and our community.

“It’s personal for me,” said Gourdine, referring to the disproportionate burden of high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and obesity in the black community.

“My personal concerns and work in public health inspired me to write the book.”

Recently I spoke with the “keeping real,” down-to-earth doctor, whose health-policy-consulting firm is based in Owings Mills, Md., about the health crisis in the black community and, more importantly, what we can do about it.

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