Three community groups hosted a virtual event on Wednesday as part of an ongoing effort to highlight racism in health care in the aftermath of the external review of Dr. Susan Moore’s death. Moore died in December from COVID-19 complications. In a viral Facebook video, Moore alleged racial bias in the care she received at IU Health North Hospital.
The Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, Baptist Ministers Alliance and the National Action Network of Indiana asked last month to meet with IU Health CEO Dennis Murphy. They have not received a response.
David Greene Sr., president of the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, said Murphy should resign if tangible change is not made.
“He needs to listen, to be willing to listen to others in the minority community,” Greene said. “Blacks and Latinos — we deserve better.”
After Moore died, IU Health created an external review committee. The committee's findings, which were released last month, concluded that the medical care Moore received did not cause her death, but cultural competence was not practiced by all providers and several providers lacked awareness of implicit racial bias in Moore’s care.
The committee recommended that IU Health improve the delivery of patient care and increase cultural competence and awareness of implicit bias within the organization.
After the findings were released, Murphy said the recommendations align with how IU Health hopes to move forward.
“We are extremely committed to becoming a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive organization,” Murphy said last month.
IU Health said all staff members will undergo diversity, inclusion and equity training and assessment of these efforts will be part of performance reviews. The organization will also hire a chief equity health officer.
In the letter that the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, Baptist Minsters Alliance and the National Action Network of Indiana sent to IU Health, the groups called IU’s statement “a toothless, woefully insufficient response to the systemic racism revealed” by Moore’s treatment.
The Reverend Stephen Clay, president of the National Action Network, said on Wednesday that the community needs to look at the state’s health care from a different perspective.
“We're not only patients, but we are customers and clients,” Clay said. “We are taxpayers. And we must raise the expectation of what we want from this hospital care system.”
The groups want more changes from IU Health and other health care providers in the state. They’re calling for more doctors of color, more people of color in leadership positions and internships created in Moore’s name.