Retired Nurse Reaches Tampa Bay’s Black Community Through ‘The Color Of Wellness’

After not seeing Black people represented in medical magazines, Michelle Greene Rhodes decided to change that.

TAMPA, Fla. — A local entrepreneur is using her retired career as a nurse to ensure health and wellness. Michelle Greene Rhodes serves a marginalized audience through her magazine, The Color of Wellness. 

She said her mother inspired her to pursue a career as a nurse.

“She would say, ‘keep going. Go as far as you can go,’” Greene Rhodes said.

Greene Rhodes recently retired, but says through her years of survival, little has changed regarding a widespread concern for the health of Black people.

“I didn’t see anything for communities of color. And I said, ‘What are we doing? We’re Black nurses. Where are we in all of this,’” she said. “Being in that position for over 20 years, I saw data.”

She said she also wondered why she rarely saw images of Black people in medical magazines.

“Studies show people who look like you who you can relate to, there’s an elevated level of trust. Which leads to elevated outcomes,” Greene Rhodes said.

That is why she created The Color of Wellness. Greene Rhodes released the publication at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Black nurses are the answer. I believe that with all my heart. We’re on the forefront. Caring. A lot of them don’t get moved into leadership positions. That’s a whole other situation. So, we’re on the frontlines, we’re in the community,” Greene Rhodes said.

Greene Rhodes was able to get The Color of Wellness up and running due in part to the Minority Empowerment Program (MEP), run by the Tampa Bay Chamber. 

The Chamber says MEP “is an initiative of the Chamber designed to bring Black and Hispanic owned and led businesses and nonprofits into the community conversation through Chamber membership, resulting in a more inclusive environment and approach toward business growth throughout the region.”

The program is accepting applications through Nov. 5. A link to the application can be found here. 

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