Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy Receives Grant to Promote Racial Equality in Healthcare on Long Island Through ASK for Your Life Campaign

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Patient safety group Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy (Pulse CPSEA) is pleased to announce receipt of a $15,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation supporting its ASK For Your Life Campaign, which aims to promote racial equality in health care on Long Island. The campaign will run educational workshops in Long Island’s the African-American communities and will conduct follow up of participants after health care visits to measure the effectiveness of the program.

According to the Joint Commission, Division of Healthcare Improvement, “There is extensive evidence and research that finds unconscious biases can lead to differential treatment of patients by race, gender, weight, age, language, income, and insurance status… bias in clinical decision-making does result in problems that can directly lead to patient harm.”

". . . Most healthcare professionals are not aware of their biases and how those lead to unequal treatment and patient harm."

Dr. Leslie Farrington, Co-Chair, Ask for Your Life Campaign

One study showed that when doctors went in to see their black (versus white) patients they were less likely to display empathy. They had a more closed posture with their arms crossed or their hands in their pockets. They would stand further away from the bed, and they would spend more time looking at the nurse or the monitor and less time touching the patient. Many doctors spend less time with their patients of color. Dr. David R. Williams of Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health reports that 265 African-Americans per day — nearly 100,000 per year — die because of health inequity.

“Researchers have been aware of discrimination in healthcare for many years,” explains Dr. Leslie Farrington, a retired African-American OB/GYN from Freeport Long Island. “However, most healthcare professionals are not aware of their biases and how those lead to unequal treatment and patient harm.” 

Beverly James, RN, a nurse for more than 30 years and retired owner of a Long Island home care agency, adds, “When I was a student nurse, we were able to choose our patients. I noticed that despite a diverse patient population, none of my (white) classmates chose patients who looked like me, so I deliberately did. My (white) professor noticed and asked about my choices. After I explained my reasons, she recognized the bias and encouraged my classmates to diversify their choices.”

Ilene Corina, President, Pulse CPSEA, talks about the history of Pulse and its services to the Long Island community. “Pulse has focused for the past 20 years on advocating for patients and their families as they navigate the healthcare system. Everyone has a right to safe, quality, and respectful care. Some groups of people are vulnerable to discrimination and until we talk about that no one knows how big a problem it is.” Ms. Corina, a bedside advocate, and patient safety educator, has been working with vulnerable groups across Long Island through the Pulse Healthcare Equality Project. “Once you participate in a Pulse program, we are there for your ongoing support.”

To learn more about the ASK For Your Life Campaign to promote racial equality in health care visit:  www.askforyourlife.com

To book a workshop or speaker call (516) 579-4711 (Ilene Corina for Long Island-based queries, Dr. Leslie Farrington for queries relating to activities outside L.I.) or email info@askforyourlife.com

Ask questions until you understand the answers
Speak up if something's not right
Know your body, your conditions, your medications, and test results

Pulse CPSEA (formerly PULSE of NY) Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy raises awareness about patient safety through advocacy education & support.  www.pulsecenterforpatientsafety.org Founded 1996.

Source: Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy


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