Cafe 101: The Color of HealthCARE: Our Women, Our Color, Our Story

Room 201

Despite initiatives, training, and efforts to increase awareness, the impact of implicit bias continues to be at the root cause of the disproportionate rate of maternal mortality experienced by women of color nationally and in Michigan. Health care disparities continue to exist in every area of maternal and infant health, and appear to be a result of historically based systemic inequities related to race. We propose another approach to addressing the issue. First, intentional efforts to empower and equip women of color to advocate for themselves and family members when facing hospital staff, providers in the acute setting where biases occur. It is often at this point of contact that incidences leading to recurrent episodes of preventable severe morbidity and mortality occur. Second, administrators, policy, makers and all involved in the administration of healthcare, must be made to understand and personally internalize the impact of inequity in healthcare which impacts and changes the trajectory of the families left to handle the aftermath of the loss. Unidentified and addressed implicit bias at the point of contact at the grassroots level is often the untold story of women of color.