As an African American doctor in Montgomery, I am dedicated to closing gaps in healthcare by making sure our communities are healthy, happy, and thriving. The yawning gap between health outcomes for whites and health outcomes for people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds is well documented. We know, for example, that African Americans under the age of 50 are more likely to suffer from heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.
One of the biggest disparities in health stems from complications due to peripheral artery disease (PAD), an all-too-common but easily-preventable chronic illness. PAD occurs when fatty deposits in a person’s arteries restrict the blood flow to the limbs. As a result, the patient experiences intense pain in the legs and eventual amputation, if left untreated.