Health Disparities in African American Communities: A Historical and Psychological Perspective

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Health Disparities in African American Communities: A Historical and Psychological Perspective

30 July, 2020 @ 1:00 pm 4:00 pm CDT


This presentation will review the health disparities recently exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Data will be
presented that highlight the impact on the African American community, followed by a review of the traditional rationales
provided for these disparities. The presenter will then offer some alternative rationales and considerations based on
historical factors that have impacted the African American community. In addition, insights from Black Psychology will be
provided to re-frame the discussion.


  • Review the health disparities highlighted by COVID-19 in the African American communities
  • Review the rationales provided for these disparities
  • Provide alternative historical and psychological factors that may have impacted these disparities


Deane Wiley, PhD

Dr. Wiley completed his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at St. Louis University in 1996 with an emphasis in Psychology in the Law. He worked for four years as a research assistant professor for the Missouri Institute of Mental Health. While there he worked on a number of projects including the evaluation of a non-violent offender boot camp and the development of a cultural competency plan for the State of Missouri. In 2000, he was hired by the County of Santa Clara’s Department of Alcohol & Drug Services Data Analysis & Evaluation Unit working as a project development specialist. He was promoted to Director of the Unit in 2004, where he remained until late 2007 when we switched departments and was again promoted to Division Director of the Mental Health Departments Learning Partnership. He directed the activities of the Division comprised of three Units, Decision Support (the Department’s research and evaluation unit), Cultural Competency (ensures that cultural needs of the County’s ethnic and racial populations are met by the Department) and Continuous Learning (responsible for staff development and consumer workforce education and training). In May of 2013, he was promoted to Deputy Director of Mental Health Operations were he assisted in the planning, organization, and direction through subordinate managers, of the staff and functions of the Department of Mental Health within the Santa Clara Valley Health Hospital System. As part of the integration of the Mental Health Department and Substance Use Treatment Services (formerly the Department of Alcohol & Drug Services), he was promoted to Deputy Director of the newly formed Behavioral Health Services Department. He was responsible for administration and coordination of departmental service, administrative, and performance improvement functions, including budget, business systems, state audits and reviews, and administrative policies and procedures and acts for the Director in his/her absence until he retired in December of 2019.

Missouri Institute of Mental Health

The University of Missouri-St. Louis, Missouri Institute of Mental Health will be responsible for this program and maintain a record of your continuing education credits earned.

The Missouri Institute of Mental Health will award 3 clock hours or 3.6 contact hours (.36 CEUs) for this activity.

National Board for Certified Counselors

MIMH is an NBCC – Approved Continuing Education Provider, No. 6339 (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC – approved clock hours for events (or programs) that meet NBCC requirements. Sessions (or programs) for which NBCC – approved clock hours will be awarded are identified in the program bulletin (or web site). The ACEP is solely responsible for all aspects for the program.

3 clock hours are offered for this program.

National Association of Social Workers

This activity is pending approval from the National Association of Social Workers