Led by current fellow Dr. Alister Martin, NLC Boston fellows led a campaign to change a statewide policy that would have dramatically impacted the lives of black and brown communities in the state.
Because of coronavirus, hospitals across MA were running out of ventilators and were instructed to institute a system called “crisis standards of care“. This essentially is the system to choose who the winners and losers are and which patients get a ventilator and which do not. In essence, the more chronic medical conditions you have the less likely you are to get a ventilator if you are really sick, for example a person has diabetes would get two points making them less likely to get a ventilator compared to someone else who does not have diabetes. These guidelines would disproportionately bias against black and brown patients.
Members of the 2020 NLC Boston Fellows class coordinated an advocacy campaign that included a social and traditional campaign; worked with the Black and Latino Caucuses of MA to submit a letter to the Governor; mobilized physicians, nurses, and social workers to speak out against the guidelines; organized health care providers to sign a letter with more than 1,000 signatures.
On April 20, MA reversed course and revised the guidelines based on this activism and the work of groups throughout the state.