Gov. Whitmer signs executive directive requiring implicit bias training for health professionals

LANSING — On Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer singed an executive directive requiring health care professionals in Michigan to undergo implicit bias training to obtain and renew their licenses and registrations.

Executive Directive 2020-7 directs the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to begin requiring implicit bias training for health professionals in Michigan. The directive signed by Whitmer requires LARA to develop rules requiring the training as a part of licensing and registration for health professionals.

“COVID-19 has had a disparate impact on people of color due to a variety of factors,” Whitmer said. “We must do everything we can to address this disparity. The evidence shows that training in implicit bias can make a positive difference, so today we are taking action to help improve racial equity across Michigan’s health care system.”

Whitmer also indicated that she and her team will be completing implicit bias training on an annual basis.

“Michigan has led the way in identifying and addressing this problem,” Whitmer said. “This virus has shined a light on the staggering health disparities black Michiganders have faced long before COVID-19 ever hit our state.”

Implicit bias training addresses the unconscious biases people may hold.

According to Whitmer’s office, African American Michiganders represented 14 perecent of the state population as of July 5, but 40 percent of the confirmed COVID-19 deaths occurred in which the race of the patient was known.
The virus is four times more prevalent among African American Michiganders than among white Michiganders, according to a release from Whitmer’s office.

The directive requires LARA to consult with “relevant stakeholders in the medical profession, in state government and elsewhere in the community” by Nov. 1.

“When our government takes the health and safety of all people equally, we have a better shot,” said Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist. “Implicit bias can be interjected at any point when someone has to make a choice.”

At the beginning of Whitmer’s address, she made a statement about safety precautions. A still from the video of the Diamond Lake Sandbar party from the Fourth of July was shown, and Cass County was mentioned by name.

“I want to be very clear right now, the law requires that anyone in an enclosed public space has to wear a mask,” Whitmer said. “We are reviewing that requirement and considering whether we need to take this a step further to strengthen compliance because we cannot let our guard down. We cannot afford to play fast and loose with the rules.”

Whitmer urged the public to continue wearing masks to protect friends, neighbors and community members.

“For the sake of your loved ones, for the sake of our economy, please mask up when you go out,” she said.

Cassopolis

Community members speak out against ‘culture of bullying’ at Cassopolis Public Schools

Cass County

Cass County commissioners approve sidewalk leveling, cleaning contract

Dowagiac

Community rebuilds Little Free Library dedicated to late sister following vandalism incidents

News

Niles bicycle shop to host Pride Ride

Buchanan

Berrien Springs woman dies when vehicle collides with semi in Buchanan

Berrien County

Berrien County Board of Commissioners to resume in-person meetings July 1

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 893,002 cases, 19,598 deaths

Cass County

Dowagiac man, daughter injured in Newberg Township crash

Berrien County

Michigan 4-H eliminates participation fee

Berrien County

Michigan Works! announces new Jobs NOW hotline

Berrien County

Gov. Whitmer announces state will open to full capacity on June 22

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Fire Department to host corn and sausage roast fundraiser

Cass County

Cass County Tractor Pullers to host fundraiser for cancer patients

Berrien County

Spectrum Health, Beaumont Health take first step toward creating new health system

Cassopolis

Local law enforcement hosts Bike with a Cop event in Cassopolis

Cass County

As residents begin summer construction projects, county urges them to take preventative steps against erosion

News

Local EAA chapter to host 34th pancake breakfast fly-in

News

Monday night music coming to The NODE

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 892,830 cases, 19,578 deaths

Dowagiac

Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon tying ceremony for Diva’s Fashion and More

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: June 11-16

Edwardsburg

May, M-62 intersection to get new design

News

Niles history mural coming to downtown parking lot

Dowagiac

Lyons Reading Fund donates more than 400 books to Dowagiac Middle School students