FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (7/10/08)

Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman
             National Juneteenth observance Foundation (NJOF)
             National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
             662-247-3364    662-247-1471
             e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com
             web sites: www.19thofJune.com
                            www.Juneteenth.us
                            www.njclc.com
                            www.AmericanPainInstitute.com
                            www.MyersFoundation.net
                            www.AMAApology.com

             Frank McCune, M.D., M.B.A. Chairman
             National Juneteenth Medical Commission
             National Juneteenth observance Foundation (NJOF)
             Cosmic International Foundation (CIF)
             601-720-8046
             e-mail: drfrankmccune@comcast.net
             web sites: www.cosmichealthnetwork.com



Mississippi Black Physicians Claim AMA Apology Falls Short

Former AMA President Should Apologize to Mississippi Black Physicians


Myers
Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.



(Tchula, Mississippi) - Mississippi black physician, Baptist Medical Missionary and national advocate for health care for the poor and disenfranchised was glad to learn of the American Medical Association (AMA) apology for racial discrimination against black physicians. However, the Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., feels the apology falls short of what is needed to bring healing and racial reconciliation to nation's black physicians.

"I consider the apology by the AMA for historic racial discrimination against African-American physicians a necessary first step toward the resolution of a greater problem," states Rev., Dr. Myers, Chairman of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC) and President of the American Pain Institute (API). "The apology does not include recent discriminatory policies and practices that have been supported by AMA leadership. I hope that former AMA President and board member, Dr. J. Edward Hill, will apologize for what he has done to undermine the medical practices of black physicians practicing in the poorest counties in Mississippi."

Dr. J. Edward Hill, while President of the AMA, was a board member of the Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi (MACM), the primary company for providing medical malpractice insurance for Mississippi physicians at the time. MACM's all white physician Board of Directors refused to renew the medical malpractice insurance policies of several black physicians, including Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., forcing him to close his Christian Family Health Centers in some of the poorest counties in America, located in the Mississippi Delta in 2004. Dr. Myers has never had a medical malpractice judgement or claim against his medical practice after over 15 years of service to the poorest of the poor.

Dr. Myers accused Dr. Hill and MACM of practicing "medical malpractice racism", "medical malpractice red lining" and "medical malpractice social engineering", and being a victim of a "medical malpractice lynching." Rev., Dr. Myers also took issue with the AMA and MACM's association with the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) which labeled several Mississippi predominately poor black populated counties as "Judicial Hellholes", included Holmes County where Dr. Myers' practice was forced to close. Dr. Myers crises was covered in an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America and brought before congress by the leadership of the National Medical Association (NMA), representing the countries black physicians. Dr. Myers considers himself the worse example of "reverse tort reform" in US history because of the discriminatory positions and policies of ATRA supported by the AMA.

"Dr. Myers never got his day in court and his Christian Family Medical Centers have been closed for years." states Frank McCune, M.D., M.B.A., Chairman of the National Juneteenth Medical Commission. "I am another black physician in Mississippi for whom MACM refused to renew my medical malpractice insurance coverage. The AMA apology must go further to be truly affective."

Dr. Myers believes that the AMA must also openly and honestly address the issue of restitution from past and present policies and practices of discrimination toward black physicians.

"Let us not forget our black patients whose access to health care has been limited because of discrimination against black physicians," states Rev., Dr. Myers, host of the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Slavery and the National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "Maafa" Memorial Service. "Black physicians have lost their practices and livelihood because of racism. The medical profession needs healing from the legacy of racial discriminatory policies supported by the AMA. I stand ready to work with them to accomplish that goal."

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