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LVHN Opens Investigation After Medical Resident Alleges Racism, Discrimination | WDIY Local News

Peter Blair
/
WDIY

A local health network says it has opened an investigation after a medical resident graduate made allegations of racism.

Lehigh Valley Health Network said in a statement posted to social media Monday that it was conducting an internal investigation into the allegations.

The announcement came after a medical resident graduate, Robert Ray Jr., published a lengthy blog post last week.

Ray, who is Black, alleged multiple instances of racism and discrimination during his time at the emergency medicine residency.

I know that by publishing my story I am possibly ruining my career in medicine. I know that some hospitals will see me as undesirable and many will refrain from hiring me or giving me an interview,” he wrote.

“I know that there is a strong chance that despite all of this nothing will change at Lehigh Valley Health Network or in medical education. Knowing all of that I still chose to move forward. It has to change.”

In the post, he claimed instances of employees using racist language or expressing distain for protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

He also said he was discriminated against for wearing articles of clothing that said, “Black Lives Matter.”

Ray detailed meetings with the human resources department over the matter, including naming specific individuals, and also an alleged lack of support from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Ray’s post called for accountability and changes at the ACGME, and to the health network’s processes, departments, and leadership.

“Representation matters, it improves outcomes, it saves lives,” he wrote at the end of the blog.

“Black lives matter, Black doctors do too. I matter, now what are you gonna do?”

LVHN said in its statement that, “we condemn all forms of racism and strive to maintain a culture of respect, inclusion and equality,” and that it takes allegations of discrimination “very seriously.”

“We are deeply saddened that a member of our graduate medical education community has alleged that he had an experience that is counter to our core values and commitment to promoting and fostering an equitable and inclusive work environment,” the statement read.

“We do not tolerate any behavior that is exclusionary or racist and work to ensure that all of our colleagues feel valued as part of the LVHN community.”

The network also said that in addition to its internal investigation, it will also be conducting an independent third-party investigation.

*LVHN is an underwriter of WDIY.*

(Original air-date: 6/20/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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