The Intersection of Racism, Religion and Mental Health in Clinical Care

SATURDAY AUGUST 13, 2022 | 11:00AM – 1:30 PM ET


Rev. Dr. John Welch, Pastor, Scholar, Author, Speaker, and Thought Leader

Rev. Dr. Welch will present his seminal work, “The Intersection of Racism, Religion and Mental Health in Clinical Care.”  This timely keynote will explore the following:

“Stigmatized groups and particularly African Americans have been victims of chronic racialized trauma for centuries resulting from a variety of social determinants. This trauma has had negative health implications not excluding mental health challenges leading to complex patient/provider interactions and palliative therapies often unaddressed.”

Program Objectives

  • How racialized trauma affects African American patients’ health (including mental health) and interactions with healthcare providers
  • How religious and spiritual beliefs affect African American patients’ seeking/not-seeking mental healthcare
  • How religious/faith institutions have themselves perpetrated and perpetuated racism
  • How religious beliefs influence Black patients’ healthcare decisions and interactions with healthcare providers
  • How clinicians need to disentangle a patient’s response to racism from her/his religious responses when that clinician is seeking to understand a patient’s decision making”

Presenter Biography

Rev. Dr. John C. Welch comes with a wide variety of experience in corporate, ecclesial, and higher education environments. Most recently, Dr.Welch spent almost 14-years as Vice 

President for Student Services, Community Engagement and Dean of Students at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where he oversaw the administration of over $1 million in annual student grants and scholarships. Dr. Welch also led seminary students in cross-cultural, socio-political engagement opportunities in the Caribbean, Mexico, Colombia, and South Africa with the hope of expanding student global awareness and improving cultural competence.  

Beyond this work, John recently completed a 5-year strategic business plan for a faith-based nonprofit, conducted seminars and trainings to church leaders, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in the areas of ethics, burnout, moral distress, long term care,implicit bias, and institutional racism. 

John has served as an adjunct professor of Business Ethics at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business and the University of Pittsburgh’s Consortium Ethics Program as well as an adjunct professor of Theology at Carlow University. Currently, he sits on the Ethics Committees for major health networks and has offered his expertise in response to Covid-19 infections by designing engagement strategies to low-income communities of color and other marginalized populations including immigrants and LGBTQ, addressing vaccination hesitancy andcommunity spread. 

Furthermore, John has led several nonprofit boards and currently is Chair of the Board of Directors for the Gamaliel Network, an international organization specializing in faith-based community organizing. Additionally, John has over 22-years of experience as a consultant in the field of Information Technology, 27-years in ordained ministry serving Presbyterian and Baptist congregations. 

A native of Pittsburgh, John holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering & Economics, a Master of Divinity degree, and a PhD in Healthcare Ethics.


African American Palliative Care amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Rev. John C. Welch, PhD, 2022

“For women of color, contending as they have with systemic racism, social injustice, and the right to control their own bodies, ensuring reproductive justice has been an urgent need for generations.”

Black Women’s Reproductive Health, Justice, and COVID-19 Complications in the United States,
Rev. Bernetta D. Welch, PhD, 2022

“The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a major health crisis across the globe. In the United States, and African Americans have been disproportionately impacted in terms of infections and deaths.”

DOI: 10.4324/9781003214281-32

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