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IOL Launches New Center to Explore Impact of Racial Trauma

April 26, 2024

Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living launched the Center for Research on Racial Trauma and Community Healing, a one-of-a-kind research center. The goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the psychological and behavioral consequences of discrimination and trauma to advance healing through the power of community.

“It will take the legacy of our scientific knowledge and invest it into the communities we serve,” says Javeed Sukhera, MD, PhD, Chair of Psychiatry at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living and Chief of the Department of Psychiatry at Hartford Hospital. He is the founding director of the new center.

“The Institute of Living has been an important thought leader in research and scientific discussion, and as we celebrate our 200th anniversary, we felt it was a good time to engage even more with the communities around us,” Dr. Sukhera says.

“With everything that we continue to endure, we wanted to prioritize the topics of racial trauma and community healing. Now more than ever, it is important to understand the psychological, physical and behavioral consequences of discrimination and how we can foster healing.”

Current projects already underway include:

  • Launch of a “culturally affirming parent support group for Black and African American parents,” through partnership with a Hartford community foundation.
  • Study of mistrust and discrimination in reproductive care in partnership with UConn Health.
  • Tapping artificial intelligence to analyze stigmatizing and biased language in electronic health records. This is being done in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Representatives from Hartford HealthCare, Hartford Mayor Arunan Arulampalam, local community and civic organizations, and residents hosted a community conversation at the Artists Collective in Hartford on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, to address long standing issues in the Hartford community and to celebrate what this Center will mean. The panel discussion addressed why community healing is important to the city and the role that healthcare plays in the process.

For more information on the Center for Research on Racial Trauma and Community Healing, visit HERE

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