CHAMP is Proud to Celebrate Juneteenth
CHAMP is proud to celebrate Juneteenth, an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War. Although much progress has been made since June 19, 1865, systemic racism continues to exist shedding needed light on the racial and health disparities in headache diagnosis and patient care.
Our vision is straightforward. Better lives for people living with headache diseases. We also recognize that headache diseases make no distinctions. Migraine diagnosis and treatment rates differ greatly between Blacks, African Americans, Hispanics, and Latinx* compared to whites, with Indigenous Peoples having the highest prevalence rate of migraine and severe headache.
Talking about racism and how it permeates the healthcare system is not enough. With headache medicine advancing quickly in research, therapies, and technology, it’s important to end racial and health disparities in diagnosis and patient care.
We must work to make the headache community more inclusive and representative of the people who have these diseases. This includes gender, race and ethnicity, religion, persons with disabilities, active military and veterans, the LGBTIQ+ community, and those who live in an environment that has a significant impact on their health, functioning, and quality of life.
In 2020, we formed the Diversity in Headache Advisory Council (DiHAC) to understand inequalities in the U.S. healthcare system that disproportionately affect people of color and other marginalized groups. DiHAC is a cross-functional group of patient advocacy organization leaders, BIPOC headache patients, and healthcare providers working to identify and support solutions to racial disparities in headache medicine.
DiHAC has given members meaningful educational sessions and seed funding for new programmatic initiatives that aim to work with underserved communities, healthcare professionals, and medical students to promote diversity and equity and reduce disparities in headache medicine. Six new programs and projects were given a total of $100,000 to help pay for them.
CHAMP is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming environment in which all people living with migraine, cluster, and headache diseases feel represented and have a sense of belonging. It is an unfortunate reality, but the majority of people involved in migraine, headache, and cluster patient advocacy organizations have been white women.
This is true both for those who work for the organizations and for those who participate in them. We are dedicated to enhancing and diversifying our workforce through initiatives, programming, and hiring practices that are driven by DEI&B. This will allow us to better represent and support the vast and varied communities that we are committed to serving.
Our Executive Director and Board of Directors set the tone for this kind of commitment from the top down. Leadership at all levels is expected to help create and maintain a culture of equality where everyone has the chance to rise and succeed.
In order to help everyone, we should be representative of everyone.
We hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy Juneteenth holiday!