Lab Matters Spring 2021 | Page 7

Public health laboratories must foster their own culture of inclusion and acceptance , recognizing the differences that exist between individuals and respecting and supporting a diverse workforce that embodies a variety of cultures , backgrounds and lifestyles .”

Building a Culture of Inclusion in Public Health Laboratories

By Jill Sakai , PhD , writer
The events of 2020 — a global pandemic , visible police violence against people of color , worldwide protests and economic challenges — thrust health disparities and social inequalities into international spotlights .
Against a backdrop of rising awareness of the societal and health consequences of injustice , prejudice and inequity , an increasing number of state and local officials are declaring racism a public health crisis . The Anti-Racism in Public Health Act , introduced last fall in both houses of Congress , sought to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for public health research and interventions targeting the effects of racism and police violence . And on April 8 , the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Rochelle Walensky , MD , MPH , issued a commentary declaring racism a “ serious public health threat .”
Spring 2021 LAB MATTERS 5