- The University of Minnesota (UMN) paid Diversity Science $219,633 to “design and develop evidence-based antiracism and implicit bias training eLearning course,” according to documents obtained by medical watchdog Do No Harm and shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
- The course is for employees at Minnesota hospitals and birthing centers who work with pregnant or postpartum patients, as was mandated through the state’s 2022 “Dignity In Pregnancy And Childbirth” statute.
- “This is a substantial amount of money for a publicly funded school of medicine to spend on an online training module,” Laura Morgan, Do No Harm program manager, told the DCNF.
The University of Minnesota (UMN) spent more than $219,000 to develop an online Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training course intended for healthcare professionals to comply with the state’s 2022 “Dignity In Pregnancy And Childbirth” statute, documents obtained by medical watchdog Do No Harm and shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation revealed.
UMN paid Diversity Science $219,633.00 to “design and develop evidence-based antiracism and implicit bias training eLearning course” to be used at Minnesota hospitals and birthing centers for professionals who work with pregnant or postpartum patients, the documents reveal. The course is mandated through a state statute that went into effect in January 2023 and requires hospitals and birthing centers to offer the continuing education curriculum, according to the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Anti-Woke Billboards Plan To Drive Past Harvard Medical School Graduation)
“This is a substantial amount of money for a publicly funded school of medicine to spend on an online training module,” Laura Morgan, Do No Harm program manager, told the DCNF.
Diversity Science collaborated with UMN’s Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity to modify courses already created for California’s Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act to fit the context of the Minnesota statute, according to the Statement of Work. All files were scheduled to be uploaded to the learning management system by Dec. 16, 2022 along with the final payment.
The courses were established as “part of an initiative whose goal is to ensure that Black and Indigenous women and birthing people achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives,” according to Diversity Science’s website. Its goal is “to empower perinatal care providers with the foundational knowledge, insights and skills they need to ensure that Black and Indigenous women and birthing people receive fully equitable patient-centered, respectful, high-quality care free of bias and discrimination.”
“In the US, Black and Indigenous people are twice as likely to experience a preterm birth (PTB), give birth to a low birth weight (LBW) infant, or experience the death of an infant before age 1 compared to white women. Similarly, Black and Indigenous women in the US are more likely to die during or in the year following childbirth. Current estimates are that a full 80% of these deaths are preventable,” the website reads.
The course teaches “strategies to interrupt institutional racism and racial bias and protect the health and well-being of Black and Indigenous mothers, birthing people, and infants” and can be “a starting point for many organizations in addressing health equity and structural racism organizationally,” according to the website.
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the California Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act into law in 2019, according to Open States. The law aims to lower the number of black maternal deaths by requiring healthcare professionals to undergo an implicit bias training as well as a refresher course every two years and requiring hospitals to know their rights and where to file a complaint if they feel they have been discriminated against.
An hour-long course about perinatal care inequalities, “strategies to prevent racism” and strategies to provide equitable care for Black patients is currently available and a second, shorter course that “focuses on eliminating inequities and providing high-quality, respectful, and equitable care for Indigenous birthing people” will be available in May 2023, according to Diversity Science. The course is expected to be accessible free-of-charge to Minnesota providers “due to the sponsorship of the Minnesota Department of Health.”
UMN, Diversity Science, the Minnesota Department of Health and UMN’s Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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