The University of Minnesota (UMN) paid over $200,000 to develop a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training program that teaches medical professionals that healthcare is fundamentally racist, according to documents received by the medical watchdog Do No Harm and shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The training, developed by Diversity Science, is intended to educate healthcare professionals on obstetric care for black and indigenous women, which the training dubs “birthing people,” and highlights perceived “structural racism” in healthcare practices. Moreover, UMN’s DEI office blames “white supremacy” for certain disparities in perinatal care, and trains providers to view the development of medicine and the healthcare system as tainted with racism, documents obtained by Do Not Harm reveal.
The hour-long training is intended to address individual biases and racial stereotypes in the healthcare industry, and is in response to a new law requiring certain hospitals to complete an education course on anti-racism and implicit bias, according to the Minnesota Health Department website.
The training video presents a timeline starting from 1619 to today describing medical racism throughout history. Although the program explains the importance of knowing the history before understanding the problems, the timeline provided does not acknowledge the Civil Rights movement or any progress made between 1914 to the present, according to documents provided by Do Not Harm.
Moreover, within the first module, the training quotes the American Medical Association (AMA)’s CEO, and argues that the existence of “structural racism” in healthcare is an incontrovertible fact.
“Structural racism exists in the U.S. and in medicine, genuinely affecting the health of all people, especially people of color and others historically marginalized in society,” AMA CEO James Madara said.
“This is not opinion or conjecture, it [structural racism] is proven in multiple studies, through the science and in the evidence,” the training states.
The university spent $219,633.00 to develop the course, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.
A training video titled “Dignity in Pregnancy & Childbirth: Preventing Racial Bias in Perinatal Care” states that “80% of the deaths of black birthing people are preventable.” However, the CDC states that 84% of pregnancy-related deaths were determined to be preventable, referring to the overall maternal mortality rate among women of all races.
The Diversity Science website states that they are an “evidence-based organization” that provides clients with real-world knowledge and effective programs.
The course is “part of an initiative whose goal is to ensure that Black and Indigenous women and birthing people achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives,” according to Diversity Science’s website. The project’s goal is “to empower perinatal care providers with the foundational knowledge, insights and skills they need to ensure that Black and Indigenous women and birthing people receive fully equitable patient-centered, respectful, high-quality care free of bias and discrimination.”
The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Health Department did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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