State sets implicit bias training guidelines for health care workers


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist on Tuesday rolled out new training guidelines to battle implicit bias in health care.

Along with the director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and members of the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, Whitmer and Gilchrist talked about the process of identifying and training to avoid implicit bias.

Whitmer signed an executive order last year to deal with the idea that people may make judgments and have preconceived thoughts about others due to their race and ethnicity without consciously knowing it.

The new guidelines will be required for all new applicants for health care licenses and registrations, as well as those renewing such certificates. Each individual will receive mandatory implicit bias training from an accredited source starting June 1, 2022. New applicants need two hours and renewing applicants one hour.

Gilchrist, the chair of the racial disparities task force, said the new training will target generations of neglect. 

“Hundreds of years of racial disparities and inequities continue to have a detrimental impact on the live, health outcomes for people of color across our state and our nation,” Gilchrist said. “This coronavirus pandemic has shown that this inequity is particularly dangerous an fatal, especially in the Black community where the health of our friends and families and my own friends and family have been disproportionately negatively impacted. But thanks to Gov. Whitmer’s leadership, our administration took immediate action to tackle this racial injustice now and going forward.”

The governor’s office said Tuesday’s announcement caps nearly 11 months of collaboration and engagement with licensees, insurance providers, hospitals, health care associations, legislators, state agencies, higher education, and community and advocacy groups, to tackle health care inequity.

“The work that you have done over the last few months will save lives and improve health outcomes for generations of Michiganders, especially those who are historically or systematically been discriminated against. They will make Michigan safer and healthier and more just,” Whitmer said.

WLNS’ Adam Fisher contributed to this report.

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