ST. JOSEPH — “Community Grand Rounds: Healing the Trauma of Racism,” a speaker series hosted by Spectrum Health Lakeland, has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest philanthropy in the U.S. focused solely on health.

Launched in 2018, Community Grand Rounds features local and nationally recognized speakers who address issues of structural racism, health equity and population health. The grant will support leadership development and evaluation of the program, which also engages the community in a dialogue on the impact of racism on health inequities.

“This grant enables us to evaluate Community Grand Rounds more effectively,” said Lynn Todman,  executive director of population health at Spectrum Health Lakeland. “It also makes it possible for us to cultivate local leadership, which is essential for building a culture of health in Southwest Michigan. Using what we learn, we will develop ways to create meaningful solutions to the inequities our communities are facing.”

“We are thrilled to be support the learning that this community dialogue promises,” said Dr. Kay Felix, managing director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In addition to her work with Lakeland, Todman was appointed a culture of health leader by the foundation in 2018. In this capacity, she will spend three years receiving leadership training that will help her create a health system/community action plan to narrow health inequities in the region.

Community Grand Rounds is a collaborative effort between Spectrum Health Lakeland and The Todman Family Foundation.

The next event is “I’m a Good Person! Isn’t That Enough? How Power and Privilege Undermine Best Intention,” 1-4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at Hilton Garden inn, 1300 Cinema Way, Benton Harbor. 

Debby Irving, award-winning author of “Waking Up White,” will discuss how she came to understand systemic racism, and how her own whiteness was an obstacle to coming to grips with it. She will explore how her beliefs influenced her interpretation of the world through U.S. history, media messages and cultural habits.

For information, including a complete list of upcoming events, visit www.spectrumhealthlakeland.org/cgr.