Multicultural News

Agency aims to improve health equity for Black women, girls

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Conversations around inequity in health care for Black women continue and a local agency is taking steps to help implement policy to make doctor visits safer for Black women and girls.

Organizers said it’s not just Black women who have reported inadequate treatment but Black girls as young as 12 years old expressed some of the same concerns. While this is the first step of a long process for health equity, they urge patients to ask more questions and health care providers to listen more closely.

In light of allegations of mistreatment at a Carmel hospital made by a Black woman battling COVID-19 who later died, some say it’s another more public example of of what Black women often face when it comes to health care.

“We want Black women to have the same opportunities in health as any other race of women. So that’s the whole objective of it,” said Timike Jones with the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

She is spearheading a project to improve sexual and reproductive health in Black girls and women through focus groups and a corresponding online survey.

“How do we advocate for resources and invest in public policy to support the need of Black women,” she said.

Data shows Black women in Indiana only account for 5% of the population but make up a large portion of news with STD cases and higher death rates during delivery. While some of that is blamed on sexual ignorance, some also say it’s inadequate health care.

“People think that Black women have a super strength,” said Tammie Carter.

Carter is executive director of LifeSmart Youth and also participated in one of the focus groups.

“I’ve had my own experience where I knew that the treatment I received was not consistent and comparable to my non-African-American counterparts,” Carter said.

While it’s reassuring that she is not alone in her experience, she said it’s important to eliminate those negative experiences all together.

And the survey is up online for women wanting to give feedback on what their health experiences have been like.