ProPublica & NM In-Depth: Albuquerque Hospital’s Secret Policy Separated Native American Newborns From Their Mothers
I was happy to participate in this interview - having worked at Lovelace Womens Hospital in the past and being a Native American Nurse Midwife. There is a lot of things I have had to deal with over the years while working in the hospitals. If you saw me transform into a more aggressive and firm person in the hospital, know its because I had to, to protect the rights of my patients there.
It has absolutely set me on the path for the work I do now. Informed consent, helping Native families navigate the system, and knowing full well hospitals make their own policies that have nothing to do with centering patients ( which they always like to say- because it sounds good).
I have been to the puppet show and seen behind the current. It’s not pretty.
I applaud ALL who came together to break this story.
"Pregnant Native American women were singled out for COVID-19 testing based on their race and ZIP code, clinicians say. While awaiting results, some mothers were separated from their newborns, depriving them of the immediate contact doctors recommend.
Nicolle L. Gonzales, a Navajo nurse midwife who worked at Lovelace for two years, first heard about the ZIP code policy from a colleague at the hospital last month. Gonzales, who founded and directs the Changing Woman Initiative, a Native American women-led health collaborative in Santa Fe, New Mexico, said informed consent is an important concern for Native American patients
“You know, if you’re a Native person in an all-white setting, how do you speak up for yourself?” she asked. “There is no way to measure whether you’re being racially profiled or racially excluded from a norm [of treatment] that’s happening or not happening with others.”"
Nicolle L. Gonzales
Founder and Medical Director, Changing Woman Initiative