LANSING – Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) has issued the following statement after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s issued Executive Directive 2020-7, which asks the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to require implicit bias training for health care professionals:
“Every year during Black Maternal Health Week, I tell our Legislature how Black women are nearly three-times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. We pass a resolution, and little seems to be done beyond that. So, it is a beacon of hope for me to see the governor’s actions today. We must work harder to root out systemic, institutional racism within health care.
“Beyond prenatal and post-partum care, we also know that, in general, people of color regularly say they do not feel heard by doctors and health care professionals — that they are dismissed when they raise very serious issues. The fact is this: Racism is a public health crisis, and we must start acknowledging that, no matter how difficult it may be. I look forward to more actions from the governor, and hopefully, my legislative colleagues in the majority, to make health care more accessible and equitable for all.”
Sen. Geiss co-sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 27 to declare racism a public health crisis on June 10. It has since lingered in the Senate Government Operations Committee.
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