The Japan-Based Black Healthcare Advocate Who Teaches Joy, Investing, and Equality | Thank You Notes

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Your entire life and career, you’ve been doubted, questioned, and challenged — but you haven’t let it get in the way of who you are meant to be. Instead, you’ve used your position to advocate for those without a voice. It’s heartbreakingly common for POC patients to feel unheard, disregarded, and invisible to a care provider — and that is exactly what has propelled you forward in your profession. 

As a nurse anesthetist, you’re the one who administers epidurals during labor. When we spoke, you recalled your first meeting with a Black mother who was visibly nervous — not just about giving birth, but about her horrifying reality. According to the CDC, Black women have a maternal mortality rate three times higher than that of white women. The estimated national rate in the United States is about 17 per 100,000 live births — but it is about 37 per 100,000 live births for Black women. When you introduced yourself and explained you were there to listen and keep her safe, she instantaneously calmed. You assured her, “If you feel like you’re not being listened to, have them call me, and I will be here to advocate for you.”

You’re also motivated to mentor those beyond your physical reach, becoming a spokesperson for a rather unfamiliar emotion in nursing recently: joy. In this unprecedented time, mental health for nurses is understandably on a decline, and a lot of health-care workers are feeling underappreciated. On social media, you’ve started to bring nurses to the conversation of what it means to be truly happy and create the life you want. You educate around developing life skills outside of your profession: finances, investment, and encouraging followers to try new things.

Your biggest goal — as someone who advocates about health and social disparities — is educating anyone, no matter their background or where they are in the world, so they can spread the message. Educating others leads to understanding, which leads to advocacy — and that can be a catalyst for impossibly great achievements. 

Thank you, Dr. Aisha, for being you. You’re a nurse anesthetist, an educator, a mentor, an advocate — but you’re also a business owner, an investor, a soon-to-be pilot, a hiker, a vegetarian, and so much more. You can’t be defined by a single sentence — and that has inspired me in my own life. You’re more than just a job title or career, you are multifaceted, and you are manifesting a whole world of your own creation. 

XOXO, 

Kristin

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