Our mission is to improve the quality of life for BIPOC who are affected by IBD, Digestive Disorders and associated Chronic Illnesses; through Community, Research, Education, and Advocacy.

Comin’ In H.O.T. Podcast

Comin' In HOT (Health, Opinions, and Truths) Video Podcast where we talk about the health challenges our community faces.



Season 1

A bi-monthly podcast that discusses COGI’s bold vision for health equity by bringing all stakeholders together (doctors, patients, hospitals, healthcare systems) to holistically address social determinants of health (SDOH) and social care needs for diverse communities of color with IBD and other chronic illnesses.

This season discusses the diverse patient experience in BIPOC communities, mistrust in science, the ins-and-outs of studies and research, and more!

Co-hosted by: Melodie Narain-Blackwell (COGI) and Matthew McCurdy (BLKHLTH)



Ep. 1: “I Don’t Go To The Doctor!”

When your physical state of being seems “off”, do you schedule an appointment with a physician or head to Dr. Google and self diagnose? On this upcoming episode, we discuss our nuanced relationships with doctors, which can ultimately affect our level of care. This conversation gives a perspective on how we got to this narrative as a community and understanding ways to help improve our trust in healthcare providers.

Guests: Adesumbo Odunlami (Bristol Myers Squibb), Ramona Burress (Takeda).

This episode is in partnership with BLKHLTH, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Takeda.

Ep. 2: Patience (Now Labeled Patient)

The road to diagnosis may happen in a reasonable amount of time, but many stories express a different timeline. In this episode, Josh and Dominique share their stories of living with IBD — from self medicating when experiencing symptoms of digestive discomfort, to physician encounters where symptoms of IBD were ignored, to ultimately advocating for their health. And with the encouragement of COGI, how sharing their story helped them evolve as patient advocates.

Guests: Joshua Denton (COGI Ambassador), Dominique Battle (COGI Ambassador).

For more information on COGI’s Ambassador Program, click here.

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Ep. 3: The Blame Game

“I didn’t have a long process to be diagnosed, however when I was diagnosed the diagnosis kept changing. I wasn’t told that I had certain conditions, like C-Diff and I was never given any medication other than steroids and inflammation medicine.” This is what Latonia learned while reading her medical records for the first time. 20+ years after diagnosis, she found out that her treatment plan wasn’t as thorough as it could have been.

In doctor-patient relationships, the doctor usually starts off with the advantage because the patient is the one who seeks medical care. Normally more transparency on both sides leads to better outcomes. When this doesn’t happen, the blame game potentially surfaces. How do we mitigate this?

Guests: Latonia Ward (COGI Member), Chrissy Thornton (President of Associated Black Charities)

Ep. 4: The Buy In

When you think of a “buy in”, it’s often associated with companies and business deals… but what about the patient buy in when it comes to advancing science, treatments, and resources? In this episode, we talk about the alignment needed for patients to buy in to advocating on behalf of themselves and other patients or even advancing research that will improve health outcomes.

Guests: Donna R. Cryer, JD (Founder and CEO of Global Liver Institute), Arnie Joseph (Founder and CEO of Chroma Health Solutions)

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Ep. 5: Respect The Technique

Clinical research is the comprehensive study of the safety and effectiveness of the most promising advances in patient care. In many cases, it involves people looking to play a role in advancing science. But who is researched? Historically, marginalized communities have been excluded from and/or poorly represented in the studies that cultivate advances in treating chronic illnesses. There are several factors that play into this and we look to help change this fact.

On this episode we discuss what clinical research looks like, the value of representation in the numbers, and why our treatments have to be researched with us included prior to going to market.

Guests: Karen Correa (Takeda Pharmaceuticals), Mark Osterman (Bristol Myers Squibb)

Ep. 6: Study What, Study Who…

Taking a deeper dive into clinical research, this episode continues the conversation from Respect the Technique. Representation goes beyond the numbers… It should include a realistic perspective on the process, allowing under-represented communities to see themselves as part of advancing science and understanding the process. Historical distrust in research cannot be corrected without leaning into the flaws of research while sharing what has been done to improve the experience.

What we’ve learned is that authenticity and transparency in the process creates the possibility of gaining more diverse research participants… Let’s talk about different ways to approach and increase representation!

Guests: LaShell Robinson (Takeda Pharmaceuticals), Ramona Burress (Takeda Pharmaceuticals)

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