Anti-Racism in Healthcare

WCMS Statement on Racism as a Public Health Crisis

June 8, 2020

Racism is and has been a public health crisis since the birth of this country. Let us be clear: WCMS condemns structural and individual racism. We recognize this public denunciation is too little, too late and we are committed to the long journey ahead demanding concrete change in collective action with community members and partners.

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AMA Releases Educational Resources to Advance Equity in Health Care

September 2, 2021

In alignment with its commitment to inform and educate physicians on topics important to health equity, the American Medical Association (AMA) today announced a series of CME and educational activities aimed at addressing the root causes of inequities, including racism and other structural determinants of health.

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Buncombe County CHIP Advisory's Learning Library for Anti-Racist Reflection & Healing

March 15, 2021

Learning Library for Anti-Racist Reflection & Healing

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Buncombe County Statement: National Day of Racial Healing Prompts Buncombe To Reflect and Grow

January 20, 2021

Today is National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH), a day set apart for institutions and individuals to reflect on and take ownership of how they have participated in systemic racism, and to make a commitment to improve.

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How to overcome COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Black patients

December 30, 2020

To understand and address vaccine hesitancy and the roots of medical mistrust among Black Americans, look to the U.S. Public Health Service Study at Tuskegee—but not as an isolated event. Rather, it's one component of structural racism that requires structural solutions to overcome as the nation seeks to maximize COVID-19 vaccination to speed the pandemic's end.

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Black Owned Businesses in Asheville

November 19, 2020

WCMS supports local, Black Owned Businesses here in the Asheville area. We hope you'll utitlize this list for your business or personal needs. 

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Minority Medical Mentoring Program

October 28, 2020

Become involved in the MMMP Today!

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Healthcare Access Inequities Among African Americans in WNC: A Historical Context

October 27, 2020

The current sociocultural climate in the United States elucidate the importance of understanding our humanity while fostering deeper cross-cultural relationships. As the nation is currently facing two pandemics, one health related and the other racial, our ability to engage in thoughtful and meaningful discourse on cultural issues remains ever present.

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Cultural Humility, Presented by Dr. Sharon West

October 27, 2020

This two-part presentation addresses the impact of access related historical trauma on African Americans not only across the United States but with a historical context within Western North Carolina and significantly so in Buncombe County. 

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Creating Advocates of Change: Racial Justice and Equity - Part 2

September 4, 2020

AARP Mountain Region NC aims to "walk the talk" on issues of racial justice; we will start through deep and active listening. Our CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins said it clearly in her statement on racial injustice and disparities “The incidents of racial violence and COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on people of color are not random, but instead are the result of inequality due to a lack of social, economic, and political opportunities. Discrimination of any kind corrodes our communities and our society from the inside out.”  

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Access and Availability of health care for African Americans of Buncombe County starting in 1890 - Dr. Sharon Kelly West

July 29, 2020

View Dr. Sharon Kelly West's video addressing "Access and Availability of health care for African Americans of Buncombe County starting in 1890" 


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Black Doctors Discuss Need for Representation to Protect Their Rights & the Health of Their Patients

July 24, 2020

​Black Doctors Discuss Need for Representation to Protect Their Rights & the Health of Their Patients

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North Carolina Health Professional Supply Data

July 14, 2020

About the Health Professions Data System

The North Carolina Health Professions Data System (HPDS) collects and disseminates descriptive data on selected licensed health professionals in North Carolina. With annual files dating back to 1979, the HPDS is the oldest continuous state health workforce data system in the country.

The HPDS is maintained by the Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in collaboration with the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program (AHEC), and the state’s independent health professional licensing boards. Ongoing financial support is provided by the NC AHEC Program Office and the Office of the Provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Although the NC HPDS maintains the data system, the data remain the property of their respective licensing board.

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WCMS Letter to Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Requesting they Name Racism as a Public Health Crisis

July 8, 2020

Dear Buncombe County Board of Commissioners:

I am writing to ask you to name racism as a public health crisis in Buncombe County. On June 26, 2020, the Buncombe County Health and Human Services Board passed a proclamation that asserts this and describes action steps the board will take to advance racial equity and justice in our county.

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The Burdens of Race and History on Black People’s Health 400 Years After Jamestown

June 29, 2020


The matter of race is a common thread throughout the historical tapestry of American society. Discourse on race tends to focus on the lived experience of Black people, because of the “peculiar institution” of slavery in America. Medical historian Todd Savitt documents examples of racism in medicine to illustrate his observation that “some white Southerners claimed and many others believed that blacks were medically different from whites and so in need of special treatment.”1(p53) The special treatment, in this context, provided the facade of medical authority supporting the prevailing wisdom that people of African descent derived from a species other than human and as such could be justifiably used as “chattel,” as slaves. Now, 400 years after the first slaves were brought to America, the vestiges of the belief that Black people are “less than” human remain solidly entrenched in today’s society.

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Racism and discrimination in health care: Providers and patients

June 29, 2020


A patient of mine recently shared a story with me about her visit to an area emergency room a few years ago.* She had a painful medical condition. The emergency room staff not only did not treat her pain, but she recounted: “They treated me like I was trying to play them, like I was just trying to get pain meds out of them. They didn’t try to make any diagnosis or help me at all. They couldn’t get rid of me fast enough.”

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