Community Leaders Donate $150,000 to Fund Speaker Series
Mar 1, 2018 Share

(ST. JOSEPH) – St. Joseph residents, Lynn and Michael Todman, recently increased their gift to the Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion, pledging an additional $150,000 in support of a speaker series titled, Community Grand Rounds: Healing the Trauma of Racism. The Todmans also donated $100,000 in June 2017 to fund a transformative art installation that will be unveiled when the Pavilion is complete in the spring of 2020, bringing their total donation to $250,000.

Launching in 2018 and concluding in 2020, Community Grand Rounds will host local and nationally-recognized speakers who will discuss the issues of health equity and population health. Speakers will address the health implications of psychological trauma and racism as well as the emerging science of epigenetics and social genomics. The event is designed for professionals in medicine, allied health fields, and social work, as well as government leaders and community members.

“Through the gift of art and this upcoming speaker series, our hope is that we will help foster a healing environment for people of all backgrounds both inside and outside our hospital,” said Lynn Todman, PhD, Executive Director of Population Health, Lakeland Health. “We want to encourage others to join the conversation and find meaningful solutions to the inequities our communities are facing.”

In Berrien County, poor people, especially African Americans, experience high rates of the illness, identified as Priority Health Needs, in the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment. Data provided by the Berrien County Health Department finds blacks have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, stroke, and psychological distress when compared to whites. While these differences are attributable to poor access to resources required for good health such as healthy food, quality education, and safe housing, emerging science suggests that the experience of discrimination is strongly associated with health inequities.

Community Grand Rounds is a collaborative effort between Lakeland Health and The Todman Family Foundation. For more information, including a complete list of upcoming events, visit