— Michelle Greene Rhodes, Founder of Michelle Rhodes Media LLC in Tampa, Florida, has created a place for nurses to share their wellness expertise while helping the vulnerable communities in which they serve. It’s a new publication called The Color of Wellness Magazine.
According to AmericanActionForum.org, recent estimates attribute 10 to 20 percent of health outcomes to medical care, 30 percent to genetics, 40 to 50 percent to behavior, and 20 percent to the social and physical environment. That means most of the work in terms of wellness happens outside of the hospital by social determinants (non-medical factors). These social determinants include factors such as where individuals live, learn, work, and age, in addition to socioeconomic status and race. These social determinants of health have gotten a lot of attention recently as research continues to show a person’s health can depend heavily on their zip code and circumstances in life.
And although US health systems spent $2.5 billion on social determinants programs from 2017-2019, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The problem is that we can no longer work silently, or not make time outside of work to educate our communities. The Color of Wellness publication is an effort to reach the masses and educate in a more impactful way. The voice of issues such as health equity and health inequality must continue to be amplified. Although the healthcare industry is attempting to address these issues, it continues to go largely unnoticed. The trend of increased spending on healthcare yet decreased wellness across the entire population, especially members of vulnerable demographics, must be brought to the table. We have seen this magnified during the time of Covid-19, during which this concept was born. Blacks have died at a substantially higher rate during this pandemic, and the question is “Why”? Because in many of our vulnerable communities, our health lacked wellness, which has been found to be linked and influenced by multiple socioeconomic factors.
By utilizing her 20+ years as a Registered Nurse who specialized in Managed Care (insurance), Michelle was able to see gaps in preventive education and chronic disease, from a high level. “By putting the pieces together, I recognized that the lack of wellness education was most often not in the equation within the lifestyles of communities of color. On top of that, most of the healthcare dollars spent were targeted toward being spent on chronic disease, at end of the health spectrum and not the former,” Michelle states. “Wellness is often missed and put into play a little too late most times when it comes to the Black community. I speak generally, and from my own personal experience, where I have struggled with bad nutritional habits all my life. Most times, I refer to good times, and memories associated with soul food growing up. It has made it that much harder to establish healthier habits as an adult. It is my prayer to break these unhealthy cycles and that our communities can embrace healthier habits earlier in life. Perhaps our magazine The Color of Wellness will help close these wellness gaps, within communities of color,” said Michelle.
The next step for Michelle was to figure out the best way, with the easiest access, to get information for our culture out into the media. She called on some of her best and brightest colleagues to help. In her Facebook group of 4,000 nurse entrepreneurs, Nursepreneur Nation, Michelle selected twelve Executive Contributors of various Nursing backgrounds. “They are the core engine of this historic publication. It is because of them that we can now come together for the cause of dissemination and discussion on topics of wellness that concern people of color the most,” Michelle said. “By taking wellness concepts and well-being education into our hands, we can hopefully save lives by establishing healthier habits earlier in life. Our goal is to decrease healthcare spend, help others establish healthier lifestyles, and lay down the foundations of well-being as soon as possible. This is urgent, the time is now. Our magazine breaks into zip codes and sets up shop wherever we are along this journey.”
She is ecstatic to elevate career opportunities for Black nurses, help their corporate partners disseminate cultured wellness information, elevate some, and give hope and education to others. The Color of Wellness Magazine launched on January 20th and has raised almost $10K in pre-sales. Grab your subscription today at ColorOfWellness.co