Health care leaders are seeing civil unrest in the U.S. planting seeds of change

Protesters have been brought to the streets of cities across the country as civil rights activism and outrage over the deaths of Black people by police officers and vigilantes are brought to the forefront this year. Demonstrations against racial injustice are occurring in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a pandemic that has disproportionately affected people of color, particularly Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans. The mortality and morbidity data bring forth how much work there is to do to address health care disparities tied to race and poverty.

Providence's Dr. Rhonda Medows and Ali Santore spoke with Catholic Health World along with other ministry leaders to share their perspective on the fight for racial justice and health equity. From how the new civil rights movement is influencing their actions and work to how Catholic health care can be a force for meaningful societal change.

"Medows emphasizes that race-related disparities in treatment impact the health outcomes of people of color regardless of whether they are poor or wealthy. 'And we know this because we've been measuring (treatment disparities), researching them, and talking about them for as long as I can remember.' Racism alone, she says, can make people vulnerable to unequal care."

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