Health Equity a VMS Priority
“I’m here to get it right, not to be right.” - Brene Brown
The Vermont Medical Society maintains its commitment to provide an inclusive membership-based community, in which all physician and physician assistants, from all demographics and belief-systems, are welcome to participate. We also work to combat all inherent bias in health care, both towards the patient and towards the clinician.
VMS leadership and membership has recently adopted these related policies:
Vermont Medical Society Releases Statement Condemning Police Brutality
On June 2, 2020, the Vermont Medical Society, along with the Vermont Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, released a joint statement denouncing the recent brutal and senseless acts of violence towards Black people by law enforcement officers and acknowledging the impact systemic racism has in driving adverse health outcomes in our State and across the nation.
VMS President Catherine Schneider, M.D. and President-Elect Simha Ravven, M.D. spearheaded the action, and said, “The VMS stands with the Vermont State Police, the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics in Vermont (AAPVT) in denouncing not only police brutality against Black people, but in recognizing that racism and violence against people of color is unacceptable, unwarranted and a detriment to our country. The continued discrimination against people of color has deep lasting health impacts, as well as divisive social impacts. We cannot have a healthy nation if we continue to marginalize and harm any sector of our population.”
Health Equity Resources
Racial Equity Advisory Panel and RDAP Deliver 2021 Reports on Equity in Vermont
After last year’s brutal murders of Black Americans and the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Vermont’s Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) population; racial, social and health equity are key priorities for the majority of Vermont legislators in 2021. This week, two committees: the Senate Government Operations and the House Corrections and Institutions Committees, heard summaries of reports from the Racial Equity Advisory Panel and the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel (RDAP). Xusana Davis, Vermont’s first Executive Director of Racial Equity, delivered her 2021 report along with the Racial Equity Advisory Panel, reporting on the State’s progress in identifying and remediating systemic racial bias within State government. Not surprisingly, the findings for 2020 painted a grim picture for Vermont’s BIPOC population. COVID-19 brought on heightened out-of-state xenophobia, disparate infection and death rates and a lack of accurate data collection, as initially only 27% of Vermont clinicians were collecting race and ethnicity data when intaking for the virus. Candidates of color running for office faced harassment with very little recourse and the census left out our migrant population, which now represents the majority of Vermont’s dairy industry workforce. In terms of the path forward, Davis reported that Equity Impact Assessments are now required for any budget or policy proposal in Vermont State government or in the legislature. Each Vermont Agency is also required to have an “equity liaison,” to assist in training and assessments. There are currently 17 state equity councils and task forces, including the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel (RDAP). Etan Nasreddi-Longo, the Chair of RDAP, delivered the recommendations of their 2021 report, which include the provision of a sustainable investment to create an entity designed to produce and analyze data regarding racial disparities across the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems and that legislative action be taken based on this data. This will continue to be a focus for the legislature in 2021.
Vermont Commission on Women Publishes Dashboard of Impact of COVID-19 on Vermont Women
January 15, 2021 the Vermont Commission of Women published a dashboard illustrating the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on Vermont Women; leading to increased health disparities, economic vulnerability and social inequities. Click here for the dashboard