Sutter Health workers rally after nurse accused of posting racist comments

Black healthcare workers staged a demonstration June 26 at Sutter Health's Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, Calif., after a white nurse was accused of posting racist comments against the Black Lives Matter movement on her Facebook page, KNTV reports.

Sutter Health did not name the accused employee, but it did confirm the person no longer works there.

"When conduct by our employees outside of work — online or off — impacts our patients, teammates or organization, our commitment to equality and nondiscriminatory practices requires that we take action," a spokesperson said in a statement provided to Becker's Hospital Review. "We do not comment on the specifics of employment matters, but we can confirm this individual will not be returning to Sutter Health."

Demonstrators told KNTV the social media post is indicative of systemic racism in healthcare, which they said has been going on since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We can't say that when we get into the hospital, our Blackness goes away — so of course it happens in the hospital setting," Mercy Mutua, an ICU nurse at the hospital, told the TV station.

Protests against racism have occurred throughout the country in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans. Mr. Brooks and Ms. Taylor were fatally shot by police, and Mr. Arbery was followed by armed white men and fatally shot while jogging.

But it was Mr. Floyd's Memorial Day death, videotaped by an onlooker who captured an officer pressing his knee into Mr. Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, that ignited protests against excessive police force worldwide. 

 

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