Health care workers rally for reform as protests continue

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As protests for justice and change continue in the Miami Valley and across the nation, health care workers are also making their voices heard.

Dozens of health care workers and med students gathered in downtown Dayton’s Courthouse Square Sunday for a “White Coats for Black Lives” rally, calling for more diversity in the medical field and raising awareness about the racial disparities related to health care.

“The access to health care and the cost of health care is too prohibitive for too many people,” said Dr. Karen Arkin, a neurologist.

“I think it’s really important for us to become educated on this so that we can serve our community in the best way possible,” said Steve Graver, a Boonshoft School of Medicine student.

Dr. Rhea Rowser, who spoke at the demonstration, said she purposefully located her practice on the west side of Dayton to help meet the area’s health care needs.

“I remain on a bus line because of the people that can’t get to me,” Dr. Rowser said. “They need a bus. They need Medicaid providers getting them to their appointments.”

Training and hiring more black doctors and health care professionals benefits students coming into the field and the patients they serve, Dr. Rowser said.

“We understand their socioeconomic struggles,” Dr. Rowser said. “We understand their food choices or their traditions.”

Dr. Rowser told 2 NEWS she wants to see the conversation continue beyond Courthouse Square.

“I want to have some good conversations with higher-ups in our health care institutions and in our court systems, and we need to continue dialogue,” she said. “We need to make changes.”

White Coats for Black Lives is a national organization with chapters across the country.

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