Governor Whitmer Issues Directive Requiring Michigan Health Care Professionals to Undergo Implicit Bias Training

Friday, July 10, 2020

On Thursday, July 9, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Directive No. 2020-7  which will require implicit bias training as part of the “knowledge and skills necessary for licensure, registration, and renewal of licenses and registrations of health professionals in Michigan.”

The Governor’s office explained that "COVID-19 has had a disparate impact on people of color due to a variety of factors, and we must do everything we can to address this disparity. The evidence shows that training in implicit bias can make a positive difference, so today we are taking action to help improve racial equity across Michigan's health care system. That’s why my staff has begun this kind of training and every member of my team, including me, will complete this type of training on an annual basis.”

This directive, effective immediately, will apply to all occupations under Article 15 of the Public Health Code (chiropractic, acupuncture, dentistry, audiology, marriage and family therapy, medicine, midwifery, nursing, nursing home administration, optometry, osteopathic medicine and surgery, speech-language pathology, pharmacy and drug control, physical therapy, athletic training, massage therapy, podiatric medicine and surgery, counseling, psychology, applied behavior analysis, occupational therapy, dietetics and nutrition, sanitarians, social work, and respiratory care), the only exception being for persons practicing under Part 188 (veterinary medicine).

The directive requires that by November 1, 2020, LARA consult with relevant stakeholders in the licensed health professions, in state government, and elsewhere in the community, to receive input regarding proposed training standards to help determine targets and concerns under the new rules.

Butzel Long’s Health Care and Labor & Employment teams are working hard to prepare and provide healthcare clients with comprehensive training programs developed to fit these requirements. Healthcare professionals should contact their Butzel Long attorney as soon as possible.

Brett Miller

Hannah Treppa

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