A pair of doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital last month outlined a pilot program that, they said, would offer “preferential care” to patients of color. The proposal, published in Boston Review, accuses hospitals across the country of practicing “medical apartheid”—something they said must be addressed through “race-explicit interventions.”
Those interventions may violate civil rights laws, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital assured the Washington Free Beacon that they are “not currently underway at the hospital.” That hasn’t stopped one of its authors, Dr. Michelle Morse, from moving on up: She is now the chief medical officer of New York City.
In her new post, Morse will wield enormous influence over New York’s hospital system, and she has promised to use it to “advance health equity.” Part of her job will be serving as a liaison between the health department and local medical centers, including three she singled out as examples of “apartheid“: Montefiore, New York-Presbyterian, and Mount Sinai. She was also named the deputy commissioner for the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness, a division within the New York City health department.
Asked how her office would address apartheid at local hospitals, Morse did not respond to a request for comment.
Morse’s ascent reflects the larger trajectory of progressive activism, which has migrated from the fringe of academia to the heart of public health bureaucracies. Vermont’s health department announced this month that people of color will get first dibs on the coronavirus vaccine as a part of the state’s commitment to “health equity.” And in December, the Centers for Disease Control proposed vaccinating essential workers before the elderly because the elderly skew white.- READ MORE
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