Recently, we have made some important realizations. We have watched protests for racial justice and equality across the nation. We have felt the need to look critically inward as well as to make changes to our business. We’ve taken time these last few days to stop talking and just listen.
These past several years we have been working to advance healthcare for women by addressing gender bias at the doctor’s office. However, we have not done enough to address racial disparities and institutional racism in the healthcare system.
When we say women deserve better healthcare—this must mean ALL women. If we do not take action now, our mission is incomplete.
We have begun work on a plan of action. In the short term, it looks like this:
- We are proud to have appointed Karen Perry, Registered Medical Assistant and Clinical Coordinator as our Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. We look forward to moving the needle forward under her leadership!
- We will expand our advisory group to ensure we are including much-needed provider perspective from people of color by the end of July.
- We will ensure our clinician-facing pilot curriculum provides evidence-based training about health disparities faced by women of color. Our pilot begins this fall.
- We will expand and diversify our marketing and communications to ensure we are adequately representing people of color when appropriate. In the immediate short term, we will use our platforms to elevate and amplify the messages of those working to end racial disparity, especially in healthcare and care for women.
- We will provide a number of scholarship concierge memberships for women who cannot afford the concierge fee at our participating practices, covered by the corporate organization. We’ll encourage our providers to use their scholarship slots to match our support and to consider using these scholarships for women of color.
We will listen, learn and act with intention.
This is not a perfect plan, but it is the beginning.
Thank you for being a part of this mission.
Lisa Larkin, MD, FACP, NCMP. IF
Founder + CEO, Ms.Medicine
Lisa Larkin, MD, and Associates