White Coats for Black Lives: Chapter at Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine

WC4BL Logo

 
MISSION

The White Coats for Black Lives (WC4BL) Chapter at Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) aims to eliminate racism in the practice of medicine, to foster crucial conversations aimed at recognizing that racism is a public health crisis, and to prepare future physicians to treat all patients with equal dignity and respect.

 

VISION

To protect the lives and well-being of our patients and colleagues through the elimination of racism in medicine.

 

MEMBERSHIP

Membership requirements include being an active medical student at SSOM, having demonstrated a commitment to the elimination of racism in the practice of medicine and dedicating oneself to the learning and promotion of anti-racist theory. Because the onus of eliminating racism in the practice of medicine does not fall exclusively on Black students, WC4BL at SSOM is composed of a diverse coalition of students representing the multitude of identities, cultures and histories at Stritch.

 

ABOUT

White Coats for Black Lives (WC4BL) Chapter at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) is a medical student-run organization that originated out of the National outcry for justice for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN on May 25, 2020. In July 2020, the WC4BL Chapter at SSOM was founded by Jessica L. Simpson, M2, Class of 2023. The WC4BL National student-led organization originated on December 10, 2014.

The medical community cannot afford to be silent regarding matters of oppression. Research studies of systemic racism, racial discrimination and implicit biases have repeatedly demonstrated diminished health outcomes and reduced quality of care for Black people. As future physicians, it is imperative that we continually educate ourselves in the historical and current health disparities within the practice of medicine. This knowledge will serve as a starting point from which we can reflect and diminish our own implicit biases in order to provide equal and compassionate care to all of our patients.

Self-reflection and difficult conversation are crucial to the eradication of health disparities. In addition to facilitating discussion amongst future physicians, WC4BL is committed to conversing with SSOM administration. Specifically, WC4BL hopes to provide a student perspective regarding the quality of the medical curriculum as it relates to racism in medicine, bias eradication, health disparities, and the commitment to culturally competent care. We hope that these conversations allow us to move forward together in the development of strategic plans aimed at eliminating racism and implicit bias within the medical community. By committing to the education of future physicians, WC4BL commits to treat our future Black patients and colleagues with dignity and respect.

 

AIMS/GOALS

Foster crucial conversations on racism as a public health crisis

  • Encourage physicians, physician organizations, and medical institutions to publicly recognize racism as a public health crisis
  • Promote medical students’ involvement in local and national movements, policy reform, and conferences to end racism and police brutality
  • Teach techniques and frameworks to have crucial conversations among medical students, faculty and staff
  • Facilitate crucial conversations about racism as a public health crisis and the effects of racism on the quality of healthcare provided and health disparities among students, faculty, and staff

End racial discrimination and implicit bias in the practice of medicine

  • Ensure that Loyola University Medical Center best serves the healthcare needs of the people living in Maywood, IL
  • Collaborate with Cook County DOH and SSOM Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) to perform a needs assessment to meet the healthcare needs of the Maywood community
  • Provide training and behavioral strategies for medical students, faculty and staff to address implicit bias and privilege in order to eradicate or decrease their implicit biases
  • Collaborate with ODEI for the development and revision of the medical curriculum addressing:
    • the implications of institutional, structural, and interpersonal racism on health within the Black community
    • a historical understanding of the relationship between Black people, the medical community and prominent Black physician leaders
    • the barriers and limitations associated with individual population needs as it relates to healthcare delivery, access and overall quality of care
  • Advocate for the allocation of research funding at SSOM to study the effects of racism on health
  • Connect students to research opportunities to study the effects of racism on health

Prepare future physicians to be advocates for racial justice

  • Collaborate with the Office of Admissions to increase recruitment for prospective Black students by attending events such as the Student National Medical Association Annual Medical Education Conference
  • Promote the recruitment, retention, and hiring of Black professors, physicians, and faculty for course/clerkship directors, research and leadership positions
  • Foster and advocate for an inclusive community within SSOM by addressing Black student needs to feel that they belong and are seen within the medical school community
  • Collaborate with deans and school leadership to develop a medical school curriculum that includes the history and current manifestations of racism in medicine, principles of anti-racism, strategies for dismantling structural racism and methods to identify and remove implicit biases from the practice of medicine
  • Foster a community where Black students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally by advocating for diverse and equal representation of Licensed Therapists specializing in cultural sensitivity, anxiety, depression, and other experiences students may be facing during their time at SSOM; and mandatory mental health check-ins for students who are remediating and/or on leave
  • Facilitate an open mental health forum monitored by ODEI and Licensed Therapists to further dialogue between faculty, professors, and students regarding honest individual mental health assessment

 

ARMS/BRANCHES
  1. Research
    • Advocate for the allocation of research funding at SSOM to study the effects of racism on health
    • Connect students to research opportunities to study the effects of racism on health
  2. Advocacy & Policy
    • Encourage physicians, physician organizations, and medical institutions to publicly recognize racism as a public health crisis
    • Promote medical students’ involvement in local and national movements, policy reform, and conferences to end racism
    • Teach techniques and frameworks to have crucial conversations among medical students, faculty and staff
    • Facilitate crucial conversations about racism as a public health crisis and the effects of racism on the quality of healthcare provided and health disparities among students, faculty, and staff
  3. Health Disparities & Healthcare Quality
    • Ensure that Loyola University Medical Center best serves the healthcare needs of the people living in Maywood, IL
    • Collaborate with Cook County DOH and SSOM Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) to perform a needs assessment to meet the healthcare needs of the Maywood community
    • Provide training and behavioral strategies for medical students, faculty and staff to address implicit bias and privilege in order to eradicate or decrease their implicit biases
    • Collaborate with ODEI for the development and revision of the medical curriculum addressing:
      • the implications of institutional, structural, and interpersonal racism on health within the Black community
      • patient-centered care to ensure students understand the barriers and limitations for each population’s needs as it relates to improved healthcare delivery, access and overall quality of care provided
      • a historical understanding of the relationship between Black people, the medical community and prominent Black physician leaders
    • Collaborate with deans and school leadership to develop a medical school curriculum that includes the history and current manifestations of racism in medicine, principles of anti-racism, strategies for dismantling structural racism and methods to identify and remove implicit biases from the practice of medicine
    • Collaborate with the Office of Admissions to increase recruitment for prospective Black students by attending events such as the Student National Medical Association Annual Medical Education Conference
    • Promote the recruitment, retention, and hiring of Black professors, physicians, and faculty for course/clerkship directors, research and leadership positions
  4. Wellness & Mental Health
    • Foster and advocate for an inclusive community within SSOM by addressing Black student needs to feel that they belong and are seen within the medical school community
    • Foster a community where Black students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally by advocating for diverse and equal representation of Licensed Therapists specializing in cultural sensitivity, anxiety, depression, and other experiences students may be facing during their time at SSOM; and mandatory mental health check-ins for students who are remediating and/or on leave
    • Facilitate an open mental health forum monitored by ODEI and Licensed Therapists to further dialogue between faculty, professors, and students regarding honest individual mental health assessment

 

TERMS

All Executive Board members have the option of serving two terms. One term during their M2 year and the second term during their M4 year. Those students who decide to participate during their M3 year are not assured an Executive Board position during their M4 year. If the Chapter President is an M2, they will also serve as the M3 Liaison during their M3 year.

Links

Follow WC4BL SSOM on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WC4BLStritchSOM

Like WC4BL SSOM on Facebook: https://facebook.com/WC4BLStritchSOM/

Follow WC4BL SSOM on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wc4blstritchsom/

White Coats for Black Lives Photo Collage in Solidarity for Black Lives: https://loyolachicago.exposure.co/white-coats-for-black-lives

National WC4BL Student-led Organization: https://whitecoats4blacklives.org/

Join our listserv here: https://forms.gle/bvdb77Rd7HVkzZuA8

Officers

  • Co-Presidents: Kristine Khieu & Iovana Bonfante González
  • Vice President: Avery Cowen
  • Wellness and Mental Health Chair: Christine Dankha
  • MSU Representative: Divya Sridharan
  • M3 Liaison: Jessica Simpson

Faculty Liaisons

  • Dr. Aaron Michelfelder
  • Dr. Crystal Cash 

Contact Us

 

 Kristine Khieu

 Iovana Bonfante González

 Avery Cowen

 Divya Sridharan

 Christine Dankha

 Jessica Simpson