Sparrow’s Diversity and Inclusion Department hosted a conversation and question and answer session focused on Henrietta Lacks and how her narrative can shed light on cultural competence in medicine.
Lacks, who died in 1951, was a poor African American tobacco farmer who unknowingly shaped American’s health when cells from her cancerous tumor were cultured to create the first known human immortal cell line for medical research. This is now known as the HeLa cell line.
Letitia V. Fowler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Writing at Lansing Community College, was the speaker.
Martin Johnson, Sparrow’s Chief Medical Physicist and Radiation Safety Officer, Harsha Trivedi, Ph.D., RN, Sparrow Cancer Center Clinical Trials Specialist, and Thomas Tomlinson, Ph.D., Professor and Director for the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, answered questions from attendees.