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In the second episode of STATs “First Opinion Podcast, I spoke with Lauren Powell, the former director of health equity for the commonwealth of Virginia, who is now the vice president for health equity and community wellness for Takeda U.S. She was named to Forbes 40 Under 40 for health care this year.

Back in May 2020, after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I reached out to Powell to see if she might write a First Opinion. “My nightmare: Covid-19 meets racism meets the killing of a Black person by police” was the powerful result.

Our conversation ranged from a deep dive into that essay to what its like coping with the Covid-19 pandemic in Richmond, Va., whether she took to the streets in the Black Lives Matter protests, and finding Black joy in the time of coronavirus.


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And if you have any feedback for us — First Opinion authors to feature on the podcast, mannerisms the host needs to jettison, kudos or darts — email us at [email protected] and please put “podcast in the subject line.