Michigan Medicine commits to anti-racism

July 20, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

On June 5, Michigan Medicine held an anti-racism town hall in response to the injustice, racial discrimination and social unrest that plagued our nation. Prior to the town hall, an organizationwide survey was conducted to measure the attitudes, feelings and suggestions on how to better cultivate an anti-racist climate.

Of those results, only 4 percent of participants reported feeling hopeful, while the remaining responders reported feeling otherwise:

  • Sad: 35 percent
  • Angry: 19 percent
  • Fearful: 17 percent
  • Frustrated: 11 percent
  • Fatigued: 7 percent
  • Other 7: percent
  • Hopeful: 4 percent

The Michigan Medicine leadership team takes the well-being and suggestions of faculty, staff and learners very seriously. When asked about the most effective method to take action against racism, the majority of participants reported that Michigan Medicine can best take action by speaking up and showing solidarity.

Some excerpts from the survey included the following:

  • “Provide opportunities to open up dialogue between staff members, encourage open conversation.”
  • “It is an opportunity to highlight the high reliability training, holding staff to ‘good citizenship’ and a reminder that words do matter.”
  • “Make inclusiveness a duty, a job, something that’s not once a month, once a year, but 365 days a year. Make it an everyday task, not just a task when the world is feeling and experiencing chaos, do NOT tolerate hate, of any kind, celebrate men, woman, of all colors and creeds, and backgrounds. Make it a duty to celebrate people daily, weekly, monthly. Give incentives and make initiatives to leaders and departments alike to showcase inclusiveness.”
  • “I want our patients and students to know exactly what will and won’t be tolerated and encourage the message of acceptance, peace and the necessity to become an anti-racism community.”          

Anti-Racism Oversight Committee

In response to the anti-racism survey, and requests presented by the Black Medical Student Association and White Coats for Black Lives, Michigan Medicine has instituted an Anti-Racism Oversight Committee, co-chaired by Phyllis Blackman and David Miller, M.D.

The committee is comprised of leadership, faculty, staff and medical students with the charge to implement sustainable measure that address the five priorities of the committee: show solidarity, provide opportunities and safe spaces for conversation, increase education and training, create a more diversified workforce, and increase partnerships with the communities we serve.

The committee will convene at the end of July to determine smaller task-force work groups to address each priority, and develop action plans and ways to engage all levels of the workforce. The committee, and Michigan Medicine leadership, are committed to continuing the conversation about systemic racism and how we can improve our racial climate across the entire organization.

Stay tuned to Headlines for more information.