Position Statements

WAFP's Position Statement on Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Approved by the WAFP Executive Committee: July 6, 2020

The Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians (WAFP) supports and stands with our members of color and other minorities during this difficult time, and always. We also support and stand with our minority patients and communities. The WAFP affirms the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) statement, which reads in part:

“The American Academy of Family Physicians is deeply concerned about the prevalence of discriminatory and racist acts that are resulting in unwarranted deaths and marginalization of people of color. Family physicians across the nation are grieving with and for their communities, and we join with our members in speaking out against all forms or institutional racism. What is happening in our communities today, and what has been happening in our country for decades, is unacceptable.

Family physicians are uniquely woven into the social fabric of their respective communities. We take seriously our mission to ensure that all of our patients and their families feel valued and respected as equal members of society. We support family physicians in their efforts to actively dismantle implicit racist and discriminatory institutional practices in their communities.”

The WAFP and AAFP supports the recommendations outlined in President Barack Obama’s 2015 Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The WAFP and AAFP particularly agree with the statement that “law enforcement agencies should adopt and enforce policies prohibiting profiling and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, housing status, occupation or language fluency.” The WAFP and AAFP supports the universal adoption of evidence-based de-escalation techniques and use of the lowest level of force when force becomes necessary to maintain safety.

Racism is a public health crisis and action is required to establish equity in health.

·      We must acknowledge and speak out against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias in our environments in our institutions, communities, and society.

·      We must stand in solidarity with the black community and speak out against unjust and inhumane incidents of violence.

·      We must demonstrate empathy and compassion and acknowledge the pain and grief that the families and the communities of these victims are experiencing.

·      We must take the lead in educating ourselves and others to address these issues head on.

·      We must be deliberate and partner with local communities, public health agencies, and municipal governments to dismantle structural racism and end police brutality.

·      We must employ anti-racist and unconscious bias training and engage in interracial dialogues that will dispel the misrepresentations that dehumanize our black community members and other marginalized groups.

·      We must move from rhetoric to action to eliminate the inequities in our care, research, and education of tomorrow’s doctors.

Racism has no place in our communities or at the WAFP. We stand united against violence, discrimination, and injustice. We will continue to listen and look at new ways to improve as we work toward inclusion and addressing socioeconomic disparities. Our shared values will lead us forward: health equity, respect, compassion, and humanity.

WAFP Position Statements

The Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians actively pursues and supports legislation to:

  • Increase access to affordable, quality and comprehensive health care.
  • Successfully address the severe shortage of primary care physicians in Wisconsin.
  • Significantly improve the overall health of Wisconsin and its citizens.

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