LaSalle Clinics Are Ahead of the Curve in Ending Race-Based Medicine
“People of color are tired of being treated differently by doctors because of their skin color. At LaSalle, we pride ourselves on treating all patients with respect and giving them the care, they need, regardless of their ethnicity,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, MD, founder and CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc.
(Redlands, Calif.) The American Academy of Pediatrics has announced that it is revising its policies and guidelines to do away with wording that implies or suggests “that races have underlying biological differences that should be factored in medical treatments.”
In a new policy statement, “Eliminating Race-Based Medicine,” pre-published online May 2, 2022, in Pediatrics, the AAP observes that race is a historically derived social construct that has no place as a biologic proxy. Over the years, the medical field has inaccurately applied race correction or race adjustment factors in its work, resulting in differential approaches to disease management and disparate clinical outcomes.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics is taking an important step toward dismantling race-based medicine. This effort calls for acknowledging the impact that differential lived experiences have on individual and population health outcomes through a race-conscious health equity lens rather than through approaches that have inappropriately identified skin color as an independent risk-adjusting variable,” Dr. Wright said.
“Social determinants of health need to be carefully considered in the development of care delivery strategies including factors embedded in broad categories such as access, the physical environmental and community supports. Evidence informed incorporation of these factors is vital in all areas of medicine.”
Dr. Albert Arteaga, MD, CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc., says, “As a minority-owned organization, we have never treated any patient—adult or child—with any but the most conscientious and rigorous care. Many of our doctors and support staff are themselves minorities and they know very well how important it is to make all patients feel comfortable and to deliver to all patients the highest standard, the gold standard, of care.”
Race-based care has been pervasive for decades. One example is how some pediatricians deal with Black children who may be suffering from a urinary tract infection. According to Dr. Joseph L. Wright, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, from American Academy of Pediatrics, rather than apply the gold standard test, they use a lesser procedure because they assume that Black children don’t get urinary tract infections as often as white children.
But that is not the case at LaSalle. “When we interview prospective providers, we make sure that they are in sync with our values and standards,” says Dr. Arteaga. “The gold standard is the only standard we apply to the people under our care.”
After two years of virtual doctor visits, all of LaSalle six clinics are open for person-to-person patient visits. Clinics are now open in San Bernardino, Rialto, Fontana, Hesperia and Victorville which is temporarily closed.
“The evolution of modern medicine has produced incredible advancements and accomplishments in health care,” Dr. Wright said. “But we must acknowledge and address the stark inequities that persist in leaving vulnerable populations behind. We are better than this. Now is the time for change.”
For more information or to make an appointment at a LaSalle Medical Associates Clinic call: Fontana (909) 823-4454; San Bernardino 17th Street (909) 887-6494 pediatrics only clinic; San Bernardino Mt. Vernon Ave. (909) 884-9091; Rialto (855) 349-6019; and Hesperia (760) 947-2161.
About LaSalle Medical Associates
LaSalle operates six clinics employing more than 100 dedicated healthcare professionals, treating children, adults and seniors in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. LaSalle’s patients are primarily served by Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. LaSalle also accepts Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net, and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) coverage.
LaSalle is also an Independent Practice Association (IPA) of independently contracted doctors, hospitals, and clinics, delivering high quality patient care to approximately365,000 patients in Fresno, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, and Tulare counties.
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