coronavirus pandemic

Local Black Healthcare Workers Tackle Racial Disparities During Pandemic

Broward Health officials say they are working on helping to get people of color vaccinated

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For nurses, doctors and other critical care workers, they see firsthand the racial disparities in the healthcare system. But, there are several local healthcare heroes from Broward Health that are going above and beyond to help the community.

Francese Fleury has been a registered nurse at for a year.  As a new nurse, she joined the front lines of the COVID-19 fight at Broward Health Medical Center - just weeks after the pandemic was declared.

”It was really scary. I remember the first time I stepped on the floor of a unit and I would see patients rolling in and out, in and out," she said.

Despite her fear, Fleury pressed on.

“I see the situation that we are the same race-same person of color.  We have to protect who we are. I feel like I see myself in that person," she added.

Dr. Ndubuisi Okafor tells NBC 6 that he also sees himself in his patients. He works in the intensive care unit at Broward Health.

“It was pretty intense.  I’ve been in the ICU for 10 years. It’s a different thing all together for us," Okafor said.

There’s been aggressive steps forward in the fight against COVID-19. Michele Lewis serves as a senior medical technologist and has worked on developing new COVID diagnose procedure.

“The testing comes into us we have 5 platforms and if we get a positive we alert the physician or where the patients is located," Lewis said.

Although each of these healthcare workers have worked in different positions- their work has been essential in the fight against COVID-19.

Broward Health officials say they are working on helping to get people of color vaccinated.  They have partnered with local churches to bus individuals to a pop-up vaccine site in Deerfield Beach. 

They have also connected with Community Care Plan and Community Health Services to connect people who need the shot.

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