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Today's topic: Racism and Bias in Medicine Today
Have you ever been to the doctor and been told that the pain or discomfort you are feeling isn't real or isn't serious? Do you worry that, in an emergency, unconscious bias could delay or deny you life-saving care? If you are a person of color this is an all to o common experience. Today we are learning how a history of racism in American medicine combined with unconscious bias from health care professionals is impacting the quality of care that people of color receive today.
Watch this interview with Harriet Washington, author of "Medical Apartheid" who talks about abusive medical practices before and since the infamous Tuskegee Experiment , that have caused many Black people to distrust the medical establishment.
Read this article about the dangerous racial and ethnic stereotypes that still exist in medicine today and how they can impact the care that people of color receive from their healthcare providers.
Read this article about how racial bias is linked to disparities in health care for Black people, and can even show up in the computer algorithms driving critical healthcare decisions.  
Listen to this podcast episode that discusses why Black Americans are dying at such high rates from Coronavirus, including racial disparities in public health, released May 20, 2020. This article (published July 5, 2020) has more recent data on Coronavirus cases, which continue to disproportionately affect Latinx and Black people.
Level I: Many neighborhoods in the Twin Cities are now food and supply deserts after local stores were destroyed or temporarily closed due to damage sustained during recent protests. These closures disproportionately impact communities of Black, Indigenous and other people of color and negatively affect the health of residents who struggle to obtain food and basic supplies. Consider picking up and donating extra groceries or supplies the next time you shop and use this map as a resource to find where urgent needs exist and drop-off locations near you.
Level II: The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid time off to new parents, resulting in one in four new mothers here going back to work within two weeks of giving birth—while caring for a newborn and recovering from the physical and mental strains of delivery. Contact your legislators and your company’s human resources department to advocate for policies that support new parents.
Level III: Write to your local elected officials and urge them to declare racism a public health crisis. If you live in Hennepin County, which passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis late last month, thank your representative for passing this resolution and advocate for implementation of policies that improve the health outcomes for people of color.
Please join our work to eliminate racism, empower women and strengthen families and communities. Your contribution will support our racial justice initiatives and invest in the success of adults and youth overcoming disparities in housing, employment and educational achievement. Thank you for helping us continue to provide life-changing services.
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