JOIN US 6/23, 7PM: Candlelight Vigil at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles #Justice
On Friday, June 23rd, TV Judge Glenda Hachett will join her son, Charles S. Johnson (Kyria’s husband) as well as local community members of MomsRising, Amnesty International, Black Women for Wellness, and Black Lives Matter for a candlelight vigil at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on what would have been the 41st birthday of Kyria Dixon Johnson.
Judge Hachett, the Johnson family, and the coalition of groups are calling on the California Health Department to launch a full and thorough investigation into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after the death of Kyira Dixon Johnson. Johnson, who died on April 12th 2016 after giving birth, died of preventable and treatable birth complications as the result of a botched caesarean section. Despite complaints from Johnson’s family, Johnson was left to bleed internally for 10 hours before she got the treatment that she needed.
WHEN: Friday, June 23rd. 7:00pm PT
WHERE: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. San Vincente Blvd and Gracie Allen Dr. Los Angeles, CA.
Kyira Dixon Johnson did not have to die. She lost her life to a preventable and treatable birth complication that was ignored by doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for more than 10 hours.
Unfortunately, Johnson’s death is just one of hundreds of other deaths of Black mothers that speaks to the epidemic maternal mortality crisis facing Black women in the United States. The statistics are simply terrifying: Black women are between three and four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. These numbers hold true across all education levels, even after controlling for differences in socio-economic status. Black mothers and their babies experience rates of death and disease virtually non-existent in most developed nations.
Our nation’s enduring legacy of systematic racism against Black people has deep roots in virtually every sector of society—including health. Racial health disparities are as wide as they were in the 1930s - and little else has changed. A study from as recent as 2016 showed that a shocking number of medical professionals polled hold wildly racist views about their Black patients, such as the false beliefs that Black people feel less pain than whites and that their blood coagulates faster—resulting in lack of proper treatment and care. All evidence indicates that these factors contributed to Johnson’s unnecessary death.
The California Department of Health must fully investigate the death of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and discipline those responsible for causing and then ignoring Johnson’s treatable birth complications.
Black Lives Matter - whether it’s in our communities or in our hospitals - and until black mothers are able to achieve their best health, access to quality care is not just a health issue, but also a racial justice one. “