NEW ORLEANS – On July 1, 2023, television personality Bevy Smith took the Main Stage to moderate Pfizer’s “Black Joy Begins with Good Health” panel. The multihyphenate entertainer introduced award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Derrick T. Jones (DJ Nice), and Pfizer’s very own Ronika Alexander-Parrish, US Medical Director of Health Equity, Vaccines, and Antiverials. To discuss the importance of curating healthy routines that center wellness and joy. Each panelist spoke about how they incorporate joy throughout their lives, despite their busy schedules. When Smith asked Ralph how she is keeping herself and her loved ones happy and healthy, she responded, “I think one of the greatest things we can do for ourselves is to listen to some of the things our doctors tell us to do. When they tell you to drink the water, drink more water. Take exercise seriously; get those steps in. I try to get my steps in. I set a goal for myself, and I tried to do it. All you have to do is make an effort. I take my rest seriously. I tried to get at least six to eight hours every night. Now and then, I tell everybody in my circle, you need to get a checkup from the neck up.”
D-Nice spoke about how he shows up for himself health-wise amid his busy international DJing schedule, and surprisingly it has more to do with connecting with loved ones that spark joy for him. “Staying in touch with my family, especially after quarantine.” Alexander-Parrish, chimed in and agreed with Ralph about the water intake but added how vital it is to engage with your health providers to ensure optimal health. “Engage with your health care provider; they work for you. Any questions you have, make sure you get an answer from them. Pfizer created journals to help you document your health journey and to jot questions down for your doctor,” she stated.
She continued, “Some of us are the chefs of health in our family. If you’re that person in your family, we need you to take care of you first.” Smith closed the conversation by encouraging the audience to ensure they find joy in their lives by maintaining their health, connecting with loved ones regularly, and advocating for self-care, even if they are busy.