It is estimated that more than 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain (1), and it is one of the most common reasons folks go to the emergency room. In the past few years we have seen the rise of the opioid overdose crisis, the overuse and abuse of prescription pain relievers.(2)
There is overwhelming research that shows there is a significant gap between the evaluation and treatment of pain in white people compared to the evaluation and treatment in African American and Latinx people.
What is Pain?
“an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage..”, and it always includes an emotional experience. (5)
In the United States record deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19 have been recorded to date. Black physician Dr. Susan Moore, recorded herself while hospitalized with COVID as she described row the medical staff at a hospital in Indianapolis did not respond to her pleas for care, despite being in intense pain or being a doctor herself.
The heart-wrenching video has purposely been omitted in consideration of how BIPOC may be emotionally triggered. Here is an excerpt from her video:
DR. SUSAN MOORE: At that time I had only received two treatments of the remdesivir. He says, “Ah, you don’t need it. You’re not even short of breath.” I said, “Yes, I am.” Then he went on to say, “You don’t qualify.” I must have, because I’ve gotten two treatments.
And then he further stated, “You should just go home right now. And I don’t feel comfortable giving you any more narcotics.” I was in so much pain from my neck. My neck hurt so bad. I was crushed. He made me feel like I was a drug addict, and he knew I was a physician. I don’t take narcotics. I was hurting.
So, spoke to a patient advocate, who left me wanting: “There’s not much I can do.” So I started asking, “Send me to another hospital where they can treat me. If they’re not going to treat me here properly, send me to another hospital.”
Well, next thing I know, I’m getting a stat CT of my neck with and without contrast. The CT went down a little bit into my lungs, and you can see new pulmonary infiltrates, new lymphadenopathy all throughout my neck. And all of a sudden, “Yes, we will treat your pain.” You have to show proof that you have something wrong with you in order for you to get the medicine. I put forth, and I maintain: If I was white, I wouldn’t have to go through that. …
The other thing that that white doctor, Bannec, said was that if I stayed, that he would send me home Saturday at 10 p.m., in the dark. Who does that? On a week — who does that? … This is how Black people get killed, when you send them home, and they don’t know how to fight for themselves. I had to talk to somebody, maybe the media — somebody — to let people know how I’m being treated up in this place.
And he gladly told me, “I know you’re a doctor.” And he didn’t want the Black doctor to have no medicine, nothing, and then had the nerve to say it’s because of him, the nurse, that I got the medicine. “Really? Because of you? No. How about because I had that stat CT of my neck, where it showed all of that lymphadenopathy and infiltrates? Yeah, you didn’t know about that? You didn’t get that in the report?” That’s what I said. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. To being Black up in here, this is what happens. (6)
Adequate pain control is a quality-of-life concern.
Pain, whether it is acute or chronic impacts a person’s daily life. In Dr. Moore’s case highlighted the issue that persists in the offering of quality-of-care when seeking medical attention for Black and Latinx folks.
Effective treatment of pain is a professional responsibility of all healing professionals and health care organizations...the complete treatment of both the physical and emotional pain.
Urban Health Group differentiates itself within the industry as it is designed specifically to service Black, Indigenous, People of Color ( B.I.P.O.C.) by highly trained B.I.P.O.C. professionals in a preventive and proactive manner. We are a small, boutique company that has the capacity to address the unique needs of B.I.P.O.C..
Our approach includes a social justice awareness around issues of intergenerational and racial trauma impact on health; and an awareness of historical and current experience of oppression when interfacing healthcare systems.
Our clients are B.I.P.O.C. adults who want solid plans and a sense of security for future needs by reducing the occurrence of being ignored by medical providers and feeling helpless and at times confused.
To Empower Black, Indigenous, People of Color ( B.I.P.O.C.) with tools and support to effectively navigate their health and mental health needs for better wellness.
We are eliminating healthcare disparities and reducing healthcare biases for Black, Indigenous, People of Color.
-We will eliminate healthcare disparities for Black, Indigenous, People of Color.
-We will address healthcare biases head on through strategic partnerships.
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