May 21, 2021

Community Organizations Criticize IU Health's Response to Dr. Susan Moore's Death

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Dr. Susan Moore posted a video from her hospital bed in the Indianapolis area. She said that she was denied proper care while being treated for COVID-19.  - Alicia Sanders and Rashad Elby/GoFundMe

Dr. Susan Moore posted a video from her hospital bed in the Indianapolis area. She said that she was denied proper care while being treated for COVID-19.

Alicia Sanders and Rashad Elby/GoFundMe

Several community groups are criticizing IU Health’s response to 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.

An external review found that while the medical care Moore received did not cause her death, cultural competence was not practiced by all providers and several lacked awareness of implicit racial bias in Moore’s care.

The panel recommended that IU Health improve the delivery of patient care and increase cultural competence and awareness of implicit bias within the organization.

IU Health responded to the external review with steps it will take to address racial bias, including diversity, inclusion, and equity training. The organization said it will also hire a chief equity health officer. 

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Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, Baptist Minister’s Alliance and the National Action Network of Indiana say that’s not enough. In a joint letter, the groups call IU Health’s statement “a toothless, woefully insufficient response to the systemic racism revealed” by Moore’s treatment. The letter also says IU Health’s plans include “few tangible steps to remedy the racism” that many patients of color experience. 

Other groups have also responded to the external review and IU’s statement. 

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus released a statement. In it, Chair Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) said the caucus is disheartened with the panel’s findings and applauded the panel’s recommendations.

The Indianapolis NAACP said it is pleased with IU Health’s commitment to improve and plans to hold the system accountable. 

Contact reporter Darian at dbenson@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @HelloImDarian.

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