Racism is a Public Health and Women’s Health Crisis

We are reaching out to all our patients, families, and friends during this unprecedented time in our community and nation.   In the wake of the recent police killings of George Floyd and Breanna Taylor, and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery while jogging, we are writing to say that all of us at El Camino Women’s Medical Group stand in solidarity with those among us experiencing racism and injustice.

As an office dedicated to the health and well being of women and care for women during pregnancy, we have been long aware that racism is a public health and women’s health crisis.   The institutional racism embedded in our nation and specifically in our healthcare system has resulted in a well documented excessive maternal mortality of Black women.  As we care for women throughout their lives, the racism Black and Brown women face in various facets of life comes up often and we see its impact on mental and physical health outcomes.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has made healthcare inequities even more apparent with its disproportionate impact on Black communities.  And now, the recent deaths of George Floyd and Breanna Taylor have shined a light on the threats Black and Brown people face to their lives while engaging in routine daily activities.

As OBGYNs, we have dedicated our lives to the health and well being of women, regardless of race or ethnicity.  We discuss racial disparities in care and continually work to address the biases that exist in society at large and the health care system in specific so that we can provide the best care to each of our patients.  We are committed to reducing disparities in maternal and women’s healthcare.

We strongly condemn the needless deaths of women due to the institutional racism in healthcare and the unnecessary killings of people due to the institutional racism in law enforcement.  We join many physician organizations in calling for reforms that allow for equitable health care and equal access to the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone in America.

We hope all of you are staying safe, protecting your mental and physical health, and have resources to engage with the current crises in a manner that is healthy and productive.   Reach out to us if you need support or guidance on resources available to help you.

 

From all of us at El Camino Women’s Medical Group

 

Statements by major medical associations (not an exclusive list)

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Statement

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Statement

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Statement

American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) Statement

California Medical Association (CMA) Statement

American Medical Association (AMA) Statements on racial disparities and police brutality

Racism is a Public Health Issue

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Statement