Now’s no time to back off training that helps address racism

Kevin B. O'Reilly , News Editor

What’s the news: Physicians, nurses and hospital leaders are urging the Trump administration to rescind an executive order prohibiting federal agencies from conducting and funding trainings that promote racial reconciliation. In a letter to President Trump, the AMA, American Nurses Association (ANA) and American Hospital Association (AHA) said the executive order is “counterproductive to addressing racism” and would “stifle attempts at open, honest discussion of these issues in the public and private sectors.”

Health equity initiatives

Learn how organizations across the country are working to center health equity in their COVID-19 responses.

Executive order No. 13950 applies to federal contracts entered into on or after Nov. 21.

Why it’s important: “Promoting diversity and inclusion in the federal government would serve to strengthen, rather than weaken, collaboration among federal workers and contractors, who conduct lifesaving research, care for the nation’s veterans, and administer numerous programs and services to enhance the nation’s health and welfare,” says the letter from the AMA, ANA and AHA. “As providers of care to diverse communities throughout the country, we urge the administration to immediately rescind EO 13950 and allow for our continued work on inclusion and equity.”

The letter reinforces the AMA position that the U.S. benefits from having more tough conversations about race, gender, sexual orientation and the systems, practices and policies that discriminate and oppress people through racism, sexism, and homophobia. The AMA will continue its work to dismantle racist and discriminatory policies in health care, including those proposed by the federal government, that permit disparate treatment based on race and sex.

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Learn more: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Council of Education, Association of University Presses, the HR Policy Association and many other professional trade groups have objected to the executive order.

Health care in America is beset by wide disparities. Find out what the AMA is doing to promote health equity for all Americans.