Gov. Whitmer signs directive requiring health workers to receive implicit bias training

governor gretchen whitmer.png
Posted at 11:41 AM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 12:21:43-04

LANSING, Mich. — In an effort to address the coronavirus pandemic’s disproportionate impact on communities of color, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order requiring implicit bias training for all health care workers in the state.

Whitmer made the announcement at a news conference Thursday morning.

The training was among the recommendations made by the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities.

Black residents make up about 14% of the state’s population but 40% of its coronavirus cases, according to the governor’s office.

The National Healthcare Disparities Report says white patients have received higher quality of COVID-19 care than people of color, according to Whitmer’s office.

Implicit bias training "can make a positive difference" in addressing these issues, the governor said.

“The existing health disparities highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic have made it clear that there is more work to do to ensure people of color have the same access to the same quality of health care as everyone else,” said Lt. Governor Gilchrist II, chair of the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities.

“By providing awareness to health care workers on how to recognize and mitigate implicit bias, we can help them carry out their mission of providing the best health care to every patient they serve.”

Whitmer also said she and every member of her office will complete the training.

Watch the news conference live