KHC Member Spotlight: Julia Richerson

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Julia Richerson, MD

Julia Richerson, MD

Family Health Centers

Job Title: Pediatrician (Iroquois practice location)

Member of the KHC for: Family Health Centers officially joined in 2021, but Julia has partnered on various projects with the KHC for many years

Which KHC committees have you participated in? Kentucky Core Healthcare Measures Set

Provide a brief description of your job: I am a general pediatrician working with children and families from newborns through young adults, in South and Southwest Louisville Metro. I am active in child advocacy, equity and policy work, at the local, state and national level, through my involvement in philanthropy, value based payment and health systems, and health policy development.

What do you see as the biggest threat to our community’s health? How do you feel it needs to be addressed?

The biggest issue in our community is the ongoing threat to the health and wellness of children of all ages. Childhood obesity and comorbidities such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia have always been high in Kentucky compared to other states and are increasing exponentially since the pandemic. Child mental health issues such as anxiousness, depression, and behavioral problems are increasing in intensity and in number of children impacted. These issues and others disproportionately impact children who are Black and Latinx, and are linked closely with childhood poverty and adversity. These issues usually have lifelong impact. These are typically considered “personal” or “family” issues, but in fact are much more a reflection of a community’s overall weaknesses and lack of prioritization of children’s welfare.

How can the KHC best coordinate and align action to change health and the healthcare system?

Because health care systems often do not maximize their opportunities to work together to approach solutions to improve the health of the community, KHC plays an important role as convener, to stimulate discussion on important cross- system issues and move people toward shared goals and actions.

What is your favorite quote?

“Rather than hoping a child is tough enough to endure the insurmountable, we must build resilient places — healthier, safer, more nurturing and just — where all children can thrive.” -Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

What are you passionate about?

Currently, I am exploring the concept of “trauma exposure response” and how this impacts people, like those of us in health care systems. I hope to better understand the lost opportunity costs in not addressing this at the personal and system levels, and how we can do better. (Trauma Stewardship by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky)

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