June 2020 Update
Monday, June 1, 2020
We at the Institute for Perinatal Quality Improvement (PQI) grieve the brutal and senseless death of George Floyd. Our thoughts, prayers, and support are with his family and friends.
Mr. Floyd’s death is another horrific reminder that all of us need to do much more to eliminate racism in the United States. It is unacceptable that Mr. Floyd died. It is even more unacceptable that his death is not an isolated incident. His death is part of a broader picture of long-standing racial and ethnic inequities.
Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die when giving birth than White women. In addition, Indigenous women are 3 times more likely to die when giving birth than White women. For decades pregnancy-related deaths have remained the greatest disparity among all maternal child health indicators. In addition, this past week we reached the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19. A disproportionate amount of these deaths was among Black and Indigenous people. These disparities cannot be explained by differences in co-morbidities, education, or income. Racism is killing and injuring people. Racism is a public health emergency.
“Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” Edward Deming. Each one of us is part of the system. The way we change the system is to change ourselves.
PQI has created the SPEAK UP Program. SPEAK UP is an acronym and a mnemonic. Each letter reminds us of simple but powerful ways we can take action each and every day to change ourselves and work to eliminate racist structures and processes that cause poor outcomes.
S = Set limits - #NotOnMyWatch
P = Practice and prepare to SPEAK UP Against Racism
E = Express concern when we see inappropriate or unsafe behaviors
A = Apologize when we say or do something that is hurtful to others
K = Keep improving. We all need to do more to eliminate racism
U = Uncover and learn. Seek to understand someone else’s perspective
P = Persuade others to SPEAK UP
SPEAK UP Champions are needed now more than ever! Pledge to SPEAK UP Against Racism.
Debra Bingham, DrPH, RN, FAAN