Thinking of Health as a Justice Issue, with Dr. Stephen Farrow


Debo and Catherine Young sit down with Dr. Stephen Farrow, Executive Director of the National Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute of Mississippi (NDORI), to discuss health as a justice issue and how social factors like income and education impact health.

Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity and childhood obesity in the United States, and 1 out of 3 people in Mississippi are considered obese. When thinking about health and obesity, one must also consider how racial bias and structural racism play into health and economy. Access to healthcare, education level, economic achievement and quality of life in the workplace all affect health and diabetes.

Before moving to Mississippi, Dr. Farrow lived in Detroit. He moved to Mississippi the week before Hurricane Katrina hit. From that moment, he knew he wanted to stay in Mississippi to help rebuild the state and make a visible positive impact. The more education we can provide throughout the state, and the sooner we can provide solutions, that gives people more flexibility in the way they use resources and their understanding of healthy things they can do.

Dr. Farrow is the executive director of the National Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute of Mississippi. He completed medical school, internal medicine residency, and an endocrinology fellowship at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He also completed an internship at University of Michigan, as well as an endocrinology clinical and research elective at the National Institutes of Health. He earned an executive masters degree in U.S. and International Business Administration from Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management. He’s affiliated with the Veteran Affairs of Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System and Chief Medical Services.

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