Committing to diversity and inclusion in integrative care
Racism and discrimination exist prominently in healthcare. Racial disparities in medicine are not only the result of individual actions, but of deeply engrained structural racism and implicit bias. According to a study published in the journal Health Care Financing Review, understanding racial disparities in healthcare requires an appreciation of the ways racism has operated, and continues to operate, in society as a whole.
In December last year, we sat down with Michelle Maiers, DC, PhD, and Charles Sawyer, DC, to discuss a new policy statement from Northwestern Health Sciences University that delved into the effects of racial inequalities and systemic biases in healthcare. The policy paper addressed issues of racial inequalities in integrative medicine specifically and outlined strategies for healthcare providers.
The response we received to this conversation was overwhelming. So many members of our community wanted to take action, but the biggest question we received was, “where do I begin?” Therefore, we at Integrative Practitioner felt it was our responsibility to help bridge this gap.
As we near the end of Black History Month, we created what we hope will be an ongoing resource for practitioners to address systemic racism and promote diversity and inclusion in integrative healthcare practices. This work is a challenging, lifelong commitment, but it is necessary, and those of us with privilege must be part of the solution. To that end, this page will serve as an ongoing source of:
- Strategies to address personal biases and racism.
- Guidance on evaluating cultural competence in a healthcare practice.
- Education on structural systemic racism in healthcare.
- Resources for culturally competent care.
- Opportunities to engage and connect with other practitioners for discussion.
Note, these resources will be updated, and we encourage your suggestions by e-mailing Integrative Practitioner at [email protected]. Check back regularly for new information.