A Bedford-Stuyvesant doctor was the guest of honor at the monthly “Conversations in Gallery” at the Richard Beavers Gallery in Bedford-Stuyvesant on April 19. Dr. Robert Gore is a physician at Kings County Hospital, and a community leader who uses his experience in the medical field to give back to his community. The monthly event, which is hosted by C. Zawadi Morris of BK Reader, brings forth local community leaders who work in various professions to the forefront — and spotlights someone once a month to discuss his or her experiences and dedication to community work.
Gore is the founder of the Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI) — a teen intervention program targeting at-risk youth. His commitment to his community makes him a standout member worthy of highlighting, and making others aware of his work, said gallery founder Richard Beavers.
“Because of his profession as a doctor and being from the community, and still working in a capacity to service that community — he sees the need to use his platform for outreach and to create programs for kids in communities where there is gun violence,” said Beavers. “How many doctors do you see using resources they have to reach back and create something for their communities?”
At the event, the healthcare professional spoke about his work against gun violence, and the necessity of mental health in black communities — a subject that is very much tabooed, he said.
“We talked a lot about everything, but mostly about mental health and wellbeing,” said Gore. “And one thing I spoke about was making sure that people consider their wellness and talk about the signs and symptoms of a mental health problem because it’s such a taboo thing in our community — the African American and Afro-Caribbean communities.”
He said that an emphasis on mental health could help many seek out the assistance of counselors and therapists, and tackle many stresses that come with life, something Gore is very familiar with. Working full-time in the emergency room, his day-to-day tasks often come with high stress situations, and in order to manage that, it requires quick decision-making and daily stress management.
“A lot of my experience in the emergency room is seeing people who are stressed and sick, and people who are potentially dealing with something life-threatening — so I have to make micro and macro decisions in a short time frame and ensure I’m not missing anything important,” said Gore. “And it can be stressful, but over the years I’ve learned how to manage stress and how to heal from traumatic things.”
Gore said his work was only getting started and he planned on reaching more people with his work and hoped to pass the torch.
“For me, a big thing is capacity-building and anything related to doing community work because I’m also thinking about what’s in it for the long haul, and how the work will continue to evolve,” he said.