NEW YORK (PRWEB) April 24, 2023 -- In recognition of National Minority Health Month, Black Women’s Learning Institute (BWLI), a national organization dedicated to improving health care and wellness for Black women across the lifespan, releases its white paper today entitled, Anti-Racist Clinical Care: Improving Health Outcomes for Black Women. This work provides critical information for healthcare providers on the historical context of racism in the healthcare system in the US while providing real life examples of the ways history is manifesting in the present day. This publication offers anti-racist approaches to clinical care and proposes recommendations in the near and long term to improve the health care experience and ultimately, health outcomes for Black women. BWLI Co-Director Hanna Tessema states, “Our systems are inherently flawed and Black women are experiencing poor outcomes in almost every area of health, including maternal health, heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and beyond. To achieve health and racial equity, we must employ a whole of society approach, especially including public health systems to instill trust in our communities and provide the highest quality of care for everyone. BWLI is committed to working toward improved health outcomes for Black women.” In March 2022 BWLI launched its Engage. Empower. Educate. (EEE) report based on its national survey including approximately 1,000 Black women, mostly in the southern US. The report reveals alarming disparities that provide the impetus for a deeper look into how the public health community can respond and make a positive impact. When BWLI asked Black women whether they believe their health care providers listen to their concerns, one third (33%) said “no”, or that they were unsure. Additionally, nearly half (48%) reported always, usually, or sometimes experiencing discrimination from their health care providers.
BWLI Co-Directors Hanna Tessema and Lisa Frederick presented survey findings to clinical and non-clinical providers at the US Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA), the largest HIV-related gathering with over 3,000 participants in October 2022. The findings from the EEE survey then led to deeper research into systemic racism in healthcare which provides the basis for this in-depth report. BWLI enlisted contributions from key thought leaders in this space such as Orisha Bowers (National Harm Reduction Coalition), Tai Few and Helen Burnside (Public Health Institute at Denver Health), Mauda Monger (The SHE Project), and Lloyd Goldsamt (NYU). This work was funded by leading biopharmaceutical research corporation, Gilead Sciences. This white paper is being shared widely, among the organization’s clinical partners as a resource to patients and their providers seeking more information on how to take an anti-racist approach to clinical care.
Contributor Tai Few, of the Public Health Institute at Denver Health, a pioneer organization in anti-racist clinical care, states, “In order to advance racial equity and antiracist practices, public health and healthcare organizations must first acknowledge the historical impact of racism on the health and welfare of BIPOC communities. Secondly, public health and healthcare organizations must adopt anti-racist frameworks, practices, policies, and protocols. Antiracist frameworks are essential for improving the health outcomes of Black women (cisgender and Transgender).” Historical context within this work is a necessary and critical component to the comprehensive approach being presented. Providers are reminded that the medical mistrust and disconnect of Black women from health care professionals is rooted in a long history of documented evidence of medical exploitation and abuse of Black women dating back to the 1840’s. The white paper highlights Black women’s experiences having endured medical experiments without anesthesia, involuntary sterilization and hysterectomies, genital mutilation, and rape because of laws that have not protected them. Historically and in present day, the misconceptions that Black women are capable of enduring higher levels of pain than their white counterparts still exist. BWLI Co-Director Lisa Frederick states, “Black women experience discrimination from health professionals who don’t take their concerns seriously and often suffer biological wear and tear caused by chronic stress they endure from institutions and systems that don’t protect them. BWLI works to shine a spotlight on the experiences of Black women to elevate their voices and enhance their health and wellness”.
About Black Women’s Learning Institute
Black Women’s Learning Institute (BWLI) is a national institute at NDRI-USA Inc., a not-for-profit research and development organization that provides high-impact actionable solutions to pressing public health problems. BWLI and NDRI-USA Inc. share a goal of building community and health practitioner relationships to bridge the gap between research and practice in public health. Our partnership is centered around advancing evidence-based and emerging promising practices to support public health practitioners working with communities. BWLI focuses specifically on the health and social disparities that affect Black women. We help create sustainable change that improves health outcomes and advances equity for Black women through multimodal education and using technology to reach Black women in both urban and rural settings, especially in the deep South. BWLI’s mission is to improve health and wellness across the lifespan among Black women.
About Public Health Institute at Denver Health
Founded in 1979, the Denver PTC provides innovative training, consultation and information to healthcare professionals and their organizations. The Denver PTC has the unique advantage of being a program within a public health institute (The Public Health Institute of Denver Health) that resides within a large comprehensive healthcare system (Denver Health and Hospital Authority). We Operate in partnering with the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Health with whom we share an interdisciplinary staff and faculty. Our program is supported by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California. Gilead has promoted equity, particularly healthcare equity since the company brought its first therapies to the market. Through global partnerships, Gilead’s medicines today reach millions of people in low- and middle-income countries around the world. In the United States, Gilead has committed more than $100 million over 10 years through the COMPASS Initiative® to community organizations that are working to combat HIV in the U.S. South. In 2020, Gilead launched the Racial Equity Community Impact Fund to support organizations tackling racial inequities affecting Black communities across the United States.
Melanie Mitchell, BWLI, http://www.bwli.org, 1 213-807-6090, [email protected]