Program Days: Health Disparities in Marginalized Communities

On March 5, 2021, LVC’s monthly Program Day for Volunteers explored what COVID-19 has further revealed regarding health disparities in marginalized communities. Discussion included how Native Americans care for its members as family units rather than individuals during the pandemic; how African Americans and people of color were more represented among the sick and dying, but were less represented in the vaccine priority list; how homelessness, senior and trans status increase vulnerability to COVID-19; and the unknown impact of unmet dental care on health.

LVC Volunteers received a broad range of perspectives, considered the intersectionality of the pandemic, and broadened knowledge of the pandemic beyond what they hear and read in media. The strong panelist lineup included:

Featured Speaker

SaVanna Wanzer is DC Trans advocate, HIV educator, founder of Capital Trans Pride in 2007, and member of DC Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee. SaVanna has received a host of awards for community activism and leadership.


Dr. Tabari Baker is a health scientist at Roche and Community of Hope board member from Washington, DC.

Beverly Bushyhead is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, equity strategist, and social justice facilitator in Twin Cities, MN.

Liz Fehrenbach is a registered nurse and care coordinator for people experiencing homelessness at Joseph’s House in Washington, DC, and LVC Placement partner.

Kowshara Thomas is executive director at Joseph’s House in Washington, DC, and LVC Placement partner; and critical care nursing professional.

Jessica Flotterud is executive director at Hope Dental Clinic and dental health professional in St. Paul, MN, and an LVC Placement.

Gary George is Hospice House executive director in Omaha, NE, and an expert in the hospice field. He is also an LVC board member and long-time LVC Placement.