In honor of Black History Month, we are highlighting one of our physicians who not only provides community care but also gives back in a truly meaningful way.
Alaba Robinson, MD, is a primary care provider at Mercy Health – Forest Park Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Her desire to become a physician was inspired by her younger brother who had spastic cerebral palsy. She has also lived with moderate asthma her whole life.
“I decided at an early age that being a physician would allow me to take care of people and afford me some luxuries in life. At the time, luxuries meant a new bicycle and at least one new Sunday dress a month with shoes to match,” says Dr. Robinson. “Now as a practice physician, I am so happy I made the choice. My career allows me the blessing of affecting change through the health and well-being of the patients in my community. There is nothing purer than the ability to help people in their most vulnerable state.”
Dr. Robinson chose primary care because it allows her the opportunity to help patients by decreasing the burden of disease as well as associated risk factors.
“Preventive measures can be applied at all stages across the lifespan and along a disease spectrum to prevent further decline over time,” she shares.
Many people know that breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths of women aged 40 to 55 in the United States. It also currently affects more than one in ten women worldwide. What might not be as commonly known is that although African American and Hispanic women have a lower incidence of breast cancer, they have a higher mortality rate.
“As an internal medicine physician, I wanted to be a part of the solution to remove barriers to access care,” Says Dr. Robinson. “Those barriers include mistrust of the health care system, fear of the mammogram and/or appropriate treatment.”
To help in this cause, each August on her birthday Dr. Robinson and her staff throw a Breast Birthday Ever event to encourage all women, especially those of color, to get their mammograms.
“As I was approaching the recommended age to receive my first screening mammogram, I thought what better way to lead the community than to celebrate my birthday with my patients. Breast Birthday Ever helps in demystifying the process of getting a mammogram.”
As for the month of February, Dr. Robinson finds Black History Month to be an opportunity to celebrate the brilliance and beauty of African American people.
“Black History Month is an opportunity to shine a light on the successful work of our ancestors,” she shares. “It is also a time to be reminded of the integrity, determination and resilience of our people. Understanding our history and learning more about systemic racism is essential as our country faces backlash to civil rights activism.”