MPA Student Alexander Trembley was awarded a Summer 2020 Civil Liberties Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant to investigate implicit bias in emergency service workers. Dr. Samantha Larson will be serving as his faculty mentor. Here is the abstract for his project:
Despite the best efforts of activists, civil rights such as voting, education, and criminal justice remain inequitably distributed in the United States. Healthcare is another fundamental civil rights issue of our time. While the reasons for these inequities are numerous and complex, previous research has shown that implicit bias may be a contributing factor to the larger sphere of healthcare inequality. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of racial implicit bias among a single cross-section of Emergency Service Workers in diverse urban and suburban communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin utilizing the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The IAT is a statistically validated tool that studies respondents’ bias via a short web-based test. In this study, EMTs and Paramedics will be recruited to take the Skin-tone bias IAT and their results will be compared to the existing IAT database to determine whether or not Implicit bias is more present in emergency service workers. This will open the opportunity for future research into the effects on health outcomes. Findings of this study will be utilized to argue for required cultural competency training for emergency healthcare workers to reduce bias on the frontlines and racial health disparities overall.


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