Metro Black doctors ‘give back’ by sharing their expertise

MSR News Online/MSR News Online

More than a dozen Twin Cities Black physicians have combined their formidable knowledge and experience to reduce health disparities through community education.

Every week in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR), in a column called “Doctors’ Advice for Your Good Health,” these physicians provide expert information and guidance on the health issues of greatest concern to African Americans.

This advice comes with the kind of cultural insight and understanding that has been largely absent throughout the local healthcare system, a reality that accounts for many Black people’s reluctance to make full use of these resources.

The “Doctors’ Advice” column was initiated by Dr. Charles Crutchfield several years ago. His weekly advice on a wide range of health topics soon became one of the newspaper’s most popular features. With Dr. Crutchfield’s encouragement as former president of the Minnesota Association of Black Physicians, more and more of his colleagues agreed to share their expertise with the community through “Doctors’ Advice.”

These are just a few of the topics covered in the past six months: Understanding Lupus, Treating Ear Infections, Living With Asthma, Grief and Loss, Safe Dieting, Oral Cancer, Radon Risks, Blood Clots, Father-Son Talks and Laser Therapy for Skins of Color.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, the physicians at once focused their advice on the nature of the threat, its prevention and treatment. Articles have appeared on COVID-19 symptoms, how testing works, the importance of contact tracing, wearing masks, social distancing, dealing with anxiety, and other related topics essential to keeping community members safe and well informed during this health crisis.

Says Andre Chapman, founder and CEO of California’s Unity Care project, “The only way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the incredible loss to the Black community is to educate and engage our community with trustworthy, consistent and factual information, thereby empowering individuals to take charge in the fight against the virus.”

This is the educational mission of MSR’s “Doctor’s Advice’ columns, addressing not only the current pandemic but also the long history of inadequate health prevention and care that has left Blacks disproportionately vulnerable to the coronavirus. 

“I am so very proud of the contributions of my physician-colleagues,” says the column’s founder Dr. Crutchfield. “We decided to maximize the returns on our efforts by developing a ‘Making a Difference’ program of reliable information to improve the health of the community members. The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder was the perfect partner, and we are delighted with the relationship.

“Since the health columns are archived on the MSR website, they serve as a rich and ongoing source of solid, searchable health information for all,” says Dr. Crutchfield. “As physicians we serve all people, but we are particularly proud to serve the members of our culture and community.

“I am told that since we started in 2013, over 300 healthcare articles have been published by the physicians of color in our community. That certainly is cause for celebration!”

Below are the Minnesota physicians currently contributing to the MSR’s weekly “Doctors’ Advice”:

. Dr. Joel L. Boyd

Joel L. Boyd, M.D. earned his medical degree from the Temple University School of Medicine. He is a member of numerous professional organizations and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota.

His clinical interests include sports medicine, specializing in arthroscopy, ACL injuries, multiple ligament injuries, reconstructions, and revision ACL reconstructions. Dr. Boyd has been the team physician for the Minnesota Wild for the past 17 years and previous team physician for the NFL (9 years) and WNBA (15 years). His primary practice is at TRIA Orthopaedic Center in Bloomington, MN.


. Dr. LaPrincess Brewer

LaPrincess Brewer, MD, MPH, FACP, FACC, FASCP is a preventive cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine within the Department of Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She is passionate about community health and faith-based interventions to achieve healthy equity in disadvantaged racial/ethnic minority communities.


. Dr. Alexis Carrington

Alexis E. Carrington MD is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California-Davis Department of Dermatology. She completed her Internal Medicine Preliminary year at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine Elmhurst Hospital Program in New York City, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is pursuing dermatology with interests in ethnic and medical dermatology, underserved and global health dermatology, and dermatologic surgery.


. Dr. Nathan Chomilo

Dr. Nathan T. Chomilo is the medical director for the State of Minnesota’s Medicaid/Medical Assistance & MinnesotaCare programs and practices as a general pediatrician in Brooklyn Center with Park Nicollet.

He is a board member of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and an adjunct assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and son.


Dr. Charles Crutchfield, III

Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD is a board-certified dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School and a Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor of biology at Carleton College.

He also has a private practice, Crutchfield Dermatology in Eagan, MN. He received his MD and Master’s Degree in molecular biology and genomics from the Mayo Clinic. He has been selected as one of the top 10 dermatologists in the United States by Black Enterprise magazine. Minnesota Medicine recognized Dr. Crutchfield as one of the 100 Most Influential Healthcare Leaders in Minnesota.


. Sean J. Ennevor, M.D.

Sean J. Ennevor, M.D. graduated with a B.A.S. in biology and economics from Stanford University, and as a Dean’s Scholar from UCLA School of Medicine where he received his MD. He completed his medical residency and fellowship in anesthesiology at Yale University, where he was chief resident and on staff. He practiced medicine in the Twin Cities for over 14 years, and presently serves as an advisor and investor for medical technology companies throughout the country.

. Dr. Tamiko Foster

Tamiko Foster, MD, MPH, is a board-certified pediatrician, medical director at a national health plan, and former Minority Health Policy Fellow at Harvard. Her work has primarily focused on health equity, and caring for medically and socially high-risk populations.

She previously worked at HCMC, Northpoint Health & Wellness, and Hennepin Health as their chief medical officer. She is an author and founder of the health and wellness company 2 E.D.I.F.Y., LLC. Contact @ 2edifyllc.com.


. Dr. Alyse Hamilton

Dr. Alyse Hamilton is the founder and medical director of the Advanced Health and Vitality Center in Edina, Minnesota. Dr. Hamilton offers her patients positive results from her exceptional professional training and an extraordinary passion to provide safe, proven and effective treatments for adrenal insufficiency, thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue and pain, menopause, andropause (male menopause), fibromyalgia and age-related conditions.

She partners with her patients to guide them to true health from the inside out. Her goal is to ensure that her patients reclaim their energy, memory and vitality so that they can once again enjoy the things that are missing in their lives.


. Dr. David Hamlar

David Hamlar MD, DDS is an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Minnesota. He specializes craniofacial skull base surgery. He attended Howard University College of Dentistry (DDS) and Ohio State University (MD), and came to Minnesota for his fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Besides medicine, he is a retired Minnesota National Guardsman achieving the rank of major general. His passion today is empowering students of color to achieve their dreams of entering the medical professions as well as other STEM-oriented careers.


. Dr. Dionne Hart

Dr. Dionne Hart is an adjunct assistant professor in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. She is board certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine. She practices community and public psychiatry at multiple sites.

Dr. Hart has held multiple leadership positions in national, state, and local medical organizations including serving as the first chair of the American Medical Association’s Minority Affairs Section. She currently serves as president of the Minnesota Association of African American Physicians, a chapter of the National Medical Association, and is a trustee of the Minnesota Medical Association


. Dr. Mark Holder

Mark Holder, MD is a Board Certified Family Medicine Doctor in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. He is a graduate of University of MN-Physiology; Morehouse School of Medicine; and University of Miami Family Medicine Residency. He is naturally optimistic, creative, determined, and caring. 

Dr. Holder provides patient-centered care through customized medical services and health services memberships. He has practiced Medicine at Grady Health System in Atlanta, GA; Phebe Hospital in Gbanga, Liberia; JFK Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia; Jackson Memorial Health System in Miami, FL; AM/PM Emergency House calls in Miami, FL; The Port of Miami Clinic; MD Now in West Palm Beach, Florida; Whittier Clinic (HCMC) in Minneapolis, MN; and Mperial Health in Edina, MN.


/ Dr. Andrew Kiragu

Andrew W. Kiragu, MD, FAAP, FCCM is the medical director of the Pediatric Intensive
Care Unit (PICU) at Hennepin Healthcare. He is also an associate of the Children’s Respiratory and Critical Care Specialist’s group and provides pediatric critical care at Children’s of Minnesota.

Dr. Kiragu is a passionate advocate for children and is immediate-past president of the MN Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a past president of the Minnesota Association of Black Physicians. He is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota.


. Dr. Valerie Lemaine

Dr. Valerie Lemaine, M.D., M.P.H., is a top-ranked, board-certified plastic surgeon in private practice in Edina, MN. She received her M.D. from University of Montreal, Canada, where she also completed her plastic surgery.

She obtained her M.P.H. from Columbia University, NY. She also completed a reconstructive microsurgical fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dr. Lemaine then accepted a staff position at the prestigious Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) where she worked as a plastic surgeon, taught and published clinical research. In 2018, she transitioned to private practice and joined Plastic Surgery Consultants and Minnesota Oncology.


. Dr. Zeke McKinney

Dr. Zeke McKinney practices clinical occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) for HealthPartners in St. Paul and Anoka, MN, and he is one of few clinicians in Minnesota who evaluates patients for environmental toxicologic exposures. He is also a faculty physician in the HealthPartners OEM Residency where he trained and an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.


. Dr. Inell Rosario

Dr. Inell Rosario is a board-certified ENT and sleep physician practicing at Andros ENT & Sleep Center in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. She has many times been recognized as a Top Doctor and Best Doctor in various Minnesota magazines and can be reached at drrosario@androsent-sleep.com or 651-888-7800.  

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