WV healthcare workers gather at state capitol to end racial stigmas in medical practices

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Healthcare workers, medical students and advocates gathered Friday, June 19th, 2020 at the West Virginia State Capitol to shed light on healthcare disparities that African-Americans face every day.

Twenty-seven healthcare disparity facts were shared in the hopes to bring awareness to the inherent biases that take place in medical practices. A few of the grappling statistics presented:

  1. New York City has reported that African American patients with COVID-19 have more than twice the death rate of white patients: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/racial-ethnic-minorities.html
  2. African American men are almost 6 times as likely to die from HIV/AIDS as non-Hispanic white men: https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=21
  3. While only 13% of Americans are black, 32% of kidney failures occur in black Americans: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2749005/
  4. Polls report “a majority of doctors believe black skin is thicker than white skin and that black people have fewer nerves”: https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/how-we-fail-black-patients-pain
  5. 40% of youth in the criminal justice system and 45% of children in foster care are African American: https://www.apa.org/advocacy/civil-rights/diversity/african-american-health
  6. In 2017, suicide was the second leading cause of death for African Americans, ages 15 to 24: https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=24

Through recognizing these biases in the medical field, West Virginia healthcare workers say they hope to do better in taking care of their patients of color while doing their part to end the stigma and show support for the Black Lives Matter Movement.

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