Concerns of racism, transphobia raised with Oregon State Hospital leadership 

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Oregon State Hospital advisory board officials are seeking answers from the Salem-based hospital's leader after concerns have been raised about the treatment of a Black patient, a Black nurse and a transgender patient, the Lund Report reported Oct. 20. 

On Sept. 28, the advisory board sent a letter to the superintendent requesting a review of the hospital's patients' rights policy so that staff can report misconduct without fear of retaliation. The letter is the second public notice to be sent to the state-run hospital, with Disability Rights Oregon sending a letter to Gov. Kate Brown and the health authority director Sept. 27. 

The advisory board letter cites a staffer who reported that a Black patient was denied care at the eye clinic and was repeatedly exposed to COVID-19 through being placed in a separate unit because of his violent history. The staffer said another patient, a transgender woman, was placed in an all-male unit, and that a contracted, traveling Black nurse was subjected to racist comments, with a staffer saying, "Oh well, I didn't think you were an RN; we see your kind around here all the time and they aren't actually nurses."

Oregon Health Authority spokesperson Aria Seligmann said the department takes all complaints seriously, stating, "We encourage patients and staff to voice their concerns and we do not tolerate any retaliation toward anyone who reports an incident." 

The hospital CMO has reviewed the two patient incidents, and the superintendent has offered to brief the advisory board members.

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