Honoring diversity is a core value at OHSU. Across our institution’s missions of healthcare, education and research, we strive to ensure an atmosphere of respect and acceptance for all. Recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, have reignited the national conversation about race relations, bigotry and the practice of free speech. Some of our providers have joined this conversation and are sharing stories of discriminatory behavior and comments from the patients they serve. In some cases, these patients are rejecting care from our providers based on the color of their skin or other ethnic characteristics.
To protect and support our providers, OHSU has a strong policy stating that a patient’s refusal to receive service from a provider, based on their race, gender, ethnicity, or other characteristics, will not be accommodated (except under limited circumstances such as protecting a patient’s modesty). OHSU makes every effort to provide appropriate care and accommodation of our patients’ needs. But, that accommodation does not extend to endorsing prejudice, bigotry and hate. OHSU has had this policy since 2007, and it has been updated and strengthened in the past year. It is one part of a larger program to ensure that all are respected at OHSU.
OHSU will continue to work to ensure that all our providers are supported and respected in their work. We applaud our fellow health care organizations who have similar policies and encourage every clinic, hospital and health system to do so.