Dr. Griffin Rodgers is a familiar, comforting voice to radio listeners. His “Healthy Moments” commentaries are broadcast to audiences across the country and it is his mission to help black Americans understand what stands between them and good health and how to address it.
Rodgers is director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and oversees NKDEP (a program of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)) and recently led an initiative, Kidney Sundays, to help African Americans raise awareness of kidney disease in their local community and its link to other diseases seen disproportionately in the black community.
One out of every six African American adults has some sign of kidney disease and black Americans are more than three times as likely to develop kidney failure as white Americans. And 80 percent of new cases of kidney failure among black patients are directly tied to high blood pressure and diabetes.
In March, National Kidney Month, NKDEP, the American Diabetes Association’s Live Empowered Initiative and Chi Eta Phi, a national nursing sorority, sponsored Kidney Sundays, an event in churches around the country, providing kidney education sessions and blood pressure screenings for congregants.
In an interview with Brown Medicine, the alumni magazine of Brown University’s medical school, Rodgers credited his mother, a public health nurse, with showing him how personal intervention with patients could help them make better life choices.
“Many of my mother’s patients weren’t able to get to the clinic during the work week. She’d take it upon herself to visit them at their homes during the weekend,” Rodgers said in the interview.
“…I learned quite a bit this way. Her knowledge, compassion, and ability to get along with people went a long way in getting them to follow instructions, do follow-up.”
Further, Rodgers said, “I saw that diabetes, obesity, and kidney disease hit African Americans harder than others. This was my first exposure to the effects and interaction of genetics and the environment.”
After he lost three friends to sickle cell anemia, Rodgers focused on hematology – the study of blood disorders – and, subsequently, began to look at the interconnection between a number of ailments that affected black people disproportionately and he began to focus on ways to improve health outcomes for the community.
On NIDDK’s home page, Rodgers said making better choices, along with strides in research, can lead to better health outcomes.
“The research advances of the past 60 years have saved lives, improved quality of life, and laid the foundation for today’s progress,” Rodgers said in the statement. “Most often, these advances resulted not from dramatic breakthroughs but from the steady, incremental findings of persistent investigative study. That investment is now paying off in unprecedented scientific opportunities.”
For more information about Rodgers’ research or ways to address kidney disease, visit www.nkdep.nih.gov.
Click here for answers to your “Get Well Wednesday” questions.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31