Local healthcare provider launches effort to push for more diversity in healthcare field

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 7:22 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Armon Wilson is an Emergency Room Patient Technician at Unity Point- Health St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids. He recently launched his YouTube channel called “Critical Behavior”, in partnership with the hospital, highlighting the possibilities in the health care world that young people from all backgrounds can get into.

“There’s not a lot of minorities within the health care world, so I feel like with me having this YouTube channel and showing them, hey if I can do it, you guys can do it as well,” said Wilson.

On his channel, he gives an inside look at his day to day duties with a goal to spark interest. He also interviews employees, specifically those who are Black and Brown.

““I feel that they may not be attracted to the healthcare community because they don’t see a lot of variety within the healthcare community. There’s mostly Caucasians and that’s okay, but that can make someone feel uneasy, and question, ‘am I not good enough?,’ or ‘why don’t I see this?,’ ‘Is there something wrong with us?,’ and really there is not,” he said.

The Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission Executive Director says adding diversity in the health care field is a key aspect in building trust that has been broken.

“There has been multiple years of mistrust based upon some very true reasons of disparities, off historical treatments,” said Stefanie Munsterman-Scriven.

According to CDC data, Black women are three times more likely to die in childbirth than White women, and patients of color are more likely to be blamed for being passive in their health care, and the pandemic has shown further divides in disease outcomes and prevention.

“Because we are seeing a lower rate of individuals of color seeking the vaccine,” said Munsterman-Scriven. “And we do know that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minorities.”

More meaningful inclusion training and mentorships to provide support for these populations are some strategies to address the disparities. That’s something people like Wilson are taking the lead on.

“I hope they take away that no matter what anyone says or how anyone views you, do what makes you happy,” said Wilson.

People can see more of Wilson’s video on his YouTube Channel.

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