The Canada-US Coalition to End Race Correction in Health Care (CERCH) is a bi-national initiative to eliminate preventable health inequities that systematically target Black people, leading to clinical practices that produce unnecessary suffering, lower quality of life and premature death.
To do this, we:
- Advocate across health systems and jurisdictions for a systematic approach to ending race correction in Canada and the United States.
- Work directly with health care providers, organizations and decision-makers who are committed to ending race correction.
- Provide accurate information to Black patients and Black communities.
CERCH was founded by a group of Black scientists, clinicians, medical students, public health professionals, researchers and others. Founding members include: REDE4BLACKLIVES, the Black Public Health Collective, the Black Medical Students’ Association of Canada, the Health Equity and Justice in Medicine and the Anti-racism in Medicine Action Roundtable #AIMART on Twitterspace and Clubhouse and Black Doc Village.
CERCH is co-chaired by LLana James (Canada), AI, Medicine and Data Justice post-doctoral fellow at Queen's University, Ontario and co-lead of Research Evaluation Data Ethics Protocol for Black Populations (REDE4BLACKLIVES) and Dr. Ijeoma Nnodim Opara (US), an internal medicine and pediatrics physician, Assistant Professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at Wayne State University, Michigan and member of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Healthcare Leaders in Minority Health Roundtable. We are collaborating with patients, communities and people working in bioethics, epidemiology, medicine, nursing, rehabilitation sciences, patient care and advocacy. We partner with teaching hospitals, clinician colleges and professional societies in Canada and the US. Our goal is to undertake a safe and systemic process to end race correction in all aspects of health care.
CERCH prioritizes the right of Black people to high-quality clinical care. Join us as we make systemic change.
We encourage clinicians, their respective colleges and societies, laboratories and clinical sites to join us in our work to end race correction and ensure Black people receive timely and clinically-indicated care.
If you are a patient, health care provider or organization looking for more information about addressing race correction, please join our community of subscribers.
You’ll receive announcements as new opportunities for health care providers and organizations to get involved come online. You’ll also receive updates as we develop our portal to support Black people, patients, and communities, including pre-recorded and live webinars with Q & A's, and free workshops to ensure you have the information you need from a high-quality, trustworthy source.
Why ending race correction must be done safely and systematically
Race correction must be addressed systematically, across health care systems and across the patient journey. Many clinicians are focused internally, on their specialty or scope of practice. But health care systems apply race correction to most not if not all body systems.
As a result, unlike other populations, Black patients experience clinician-induced health disparities at different points in their care, resulting in cumulative effects across the life course.
After years research, planning and relationship-building, CERCH is positioned to guide and support Black patients along with clinicians, labs and health care organizations to take a safe and systematic approach to de-adopting race correction. Given the fact that race correction is present at every level of the journey of Black patients, changing a guideline or policy is not enough. De-adoption of race correction requires a 360 approach.
Why there must be an expert, Black-led approach to ending race correction
The lack of trust and confidence in medicine and health care providers compounds as Black patients and families cope with yet another harmful dynamic in a sea of anti-Black racism in health care. Black communities and people suffer from life-altering decisions made by physicians and clinicians without our knowledge or free, prior and informed consent. This aligns with 400 years of anti-Black racism in medicine and health care in Canada, the US and beyond.
"The doctors who caused the problem and kept secrets from us for one another, are the same ones claiming they will fix it - with a guideline or policy update. They are mistaken if they think that sits well with any logical Black person! This isn't business as usual. It's my life, our lives and the lack of honesty is awful. Without Black advocates - med students and doctors mostly in the US - who broke rank it would still be kept from us! Doctors have too much power that they've used to victimize us. They lack of humility and face little to no consequences for their actions. Even in a pandemic they weren't going to stop this. How many of us got turned away and died? Aren't there any rules against this? The Coalition is where I will look for information and support, that's it. And maybe one day, in the distant future, I can trust those doctors again." (A Black person in Canada)