Racism is a driving force of the social determinants of health like housing, education, and employment, and is also a barrier to health equity (American Public Health Association, 2020). In order to address injustices caused by racism, we must support actions at all levels to ensure equal opportunity for all. Results of a nationwide poll of the United States showed that 74% of African Americans, 69% of other non-Whites, and 30% of Whites report personally experiencing general race-based discrimination, and this generally leads to a variety of adverse health outcomes including higher mortality rates (Shaver’s et al., 2012). An example of a public health situation related to racism, discrimination, or ethnicity is seen in the complaint the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received in 1992 regarding Mr. Peter Citizen, who filed on behalf of himself and non-English speaking people. This complaint alleged that the Gold County Health Department discriminated against non-English and limited-English-speaking people on the basis of national origin by denying and delaying services, requiring them to provide their own interpreters, and treating them in a discriminatory manner, as evidenced by negative comments and a hostile attitude and by assigning them to Spanish-speaking clinics (Rowitz, 2014). I agreed on how this health situation related to racism was handled. A prompt investigation to look into this case was scheduled and a treat to withhold funding was set up if corrective actions were not enforced to served clients in their primary languages.
The tenets of servant-leader place a priority on the community a leader serves. Servant leadership promotes morality-centered self-reflection by leaders than other leadership styles (Kiker, Callahan, & Kiker, 2019). If I was the leader in this community, considering my democratic/participatory leadership style, I would implement the same measures the Gold County Health Department used to solve this problem. Copies of policies and procedures relating to the provision of translators for people who are non-English-or limited-English-speaking were provided to show that they were not following the policies on how the information was disseminated to staff and persons seeking services. Training to previous and new staff members, the abolishment of Hispanic clinics, and an onsite investigation was the right action to take.
American Public Health Association. (2020). Racism and health. American Public Health Association For science. For action. For health. https://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/health-equity/racism-and-health
Kiker, D. S., Scully Callahan, J., & Kiker, M. B. (2019). Exploring the Boundaries of Servant Leadership: A Meta-Analysis of the Main and Moderating Effects of Servant Leadership on Behavioral and Affective Outcomes. Journal of Managerial Issues, 31(2), 172197.
Rowitz, L. (2014). Public health leadership: Putting principles into practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Shavers, V. L., Fagan, P., Jones, D., Klein, W. M., Boyington, J., Moten, C., & Rorie, E. (2012). The state of research on racial/Ethnic discrimination in the receipt of health care. American Journal of Public Health, 102(5), 953-966. https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.2012.300773