Healthcare workers support Black Lives Matter in Boise

Posted at 1:03 PM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-20 23:29:26-04

BOISE, Idaho — Members of the healthcare industry came together with the Black Lives Matter movement to hold a rally at the state capital.

A few hundred people showed up as speakers shared their concerns about racism in the health care industry.

"Being black in America is bad for your health," said Whitney Mestelle of Inclusive Idaho. "When you are being cared for by a black health care worker, treat them the same as you would any other and trust that they have earned their spot to care for you."

The speakers at the demonstration pointed to socioeconomic as a significant hurdle for people of color in the healthcare system. However, they also gave other examples.

"We could talk about the higher infant mortality rate that we see with black children, increased rates of premature death from cardiovascular disease and mismanagement of pain treatment of black women," said Devin Gaskins, who is attending school at the University of Idaho in the medical field.

Some of the people we talked too that work in the healthcare system said they had experienced racism at one time or another during their careers.
"Racism does play a part in receiving and working in healthcare," said Gabrielle Davis, who works as a respiratory therapist at St. Luke's. "I just want to remind people that all healthcare workers don't look alike, and everyone is valuable."

The organizers encouraged everybody to wear a mask while also social distancing during this demonstration.