Dr. TaLawnda Bragg, MD, FACP — Encouraging others to speak up and advocate for their own health

Dr. TaLawnda Bragg has been an advocate of caregiving from an early age. Growing up with a mom whom she describes as a caregiver at heart, and a father with sickle cell disease/thalassemia, Bragg became a natural advocate for good health care.

After witnessing how the doctors treated her father and made him better, she looked at them as heroes.

“Wanting to help relieve people’s suffering became part of my core values,” she says, adding, “I would say the blessing of being born to these amazing parents was part of the design to pursue this calling. When I’m practicing medicine, teaching medical students, and training young doctors, I feel like I’m doing what I was put on this earth to do.”
Courtesy Dr. TaLawnda Bragg

Bragg, a Grand Rapids transplant for over 20 years, holds the titles of internal medicine hospitalist at Corewell Health West, program director of CHW-GR/MSU CHM Internal Medicine Residency Program, and associate clinical professor of medicine at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

With the colder, winter season approaching, a number of people are still fighting COVID, as well as flu symptoms, and respiratory syncytial virus infection (RSV). Bragg says respiratory virus season is upon us as well, encouraging that the various boosters to help with prevention.

“I strongly recommend the flu vaccine and the COVID vaccine or booster for almost everyone,” Bragg says. “Some people are at higher risk of severe illness and hospitalization if they become sick with RSV.”

For certain people older than 60, those with chronic heart or lung disease, and those with a weakened immune system, Bragg also recommends the RSV vaccine. She says vaccine recommendations may vary based age and other medical illnesses. The best way to keep from falling ill with serious viral lung sickness is to contact your doctor or pharmacist to learn the best preventative vaccines.

Bragg adds that other things that people can do to stay healthy is to practice good hand hygiene like we learned during the pandemic, especially if you are in a high-risk age group. Those who are in high-risk groups should still continue to wear masks in crowded places, avoid visiting with sick people, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and remain physically active.

Bragg’s final health tip is to make your health your priority. “Your health is yours. Speak up. Ask questions. Advocate.”

A graduate of Grand Valley State University with a B.S. in Biomedical Science, Dr. TaLawnda Bragg, age 45, continued her education at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, MD. She was an internal medicine resident training at Corewell Health — GR/MSU (formerly the Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center).

Bragg names Corewell Health West, Trinity Health Grand Rapids, University of Michigan Health West, Kent County Health Department, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, The Hispanic Center of West Michigan, West Michigan Asian American Association as great resources for further healthcare and prevention tips.
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