By Emma Cotton

RUTLAND — A petition signed by 39 employees at Rutland Regional Medical Center, submitted Wednesday, asks hospital leadership to improve education and increase awareness among staff and administrators about issues of racial justice.

Employees requested that the hospital’s leadership, including Claudio Fort, CEO, and Mike Solimano, chair of the board of directors, require implicit bias training for all staff, raise a Black Lives Matter flag over the hospital, and issue a public statement acknowledging the presence of racism in the health care system.

The petition, written by emergency room nurse Ryn Gluckman in collaboration with other RRMC staff and the Rutland chapter of the NAACP, comes amid state and nationwide protests responding to the killing of George Floyd. Several demonstrations have been held in Rutland.

Systemic racism in the medical system has been cited as a reason why black Americans have tested positive for Covid-19 in disproportionate numbers, Fort and Solimano said and they agreed Thursday to meet with petition organizers.

In response to VTDigger’s request for comment, RRMC officials wrote that “the events of the past week have inflicted much anger, heartache, and despair upon our already wounded nation.” continue to site