SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The St. Joseph County Department of Health hired a disgraced doctor for what it calls a “Health Equity” seminar and a county-wide study. The seminar and study are to address differences in fetal, infant and maternal mortality rates based on race. However, the doctor the county hired has had her medical license suspended, practiced medicine without a license and has been accused of malpractice cases that ended in the deaths of a baby and a new mother.
The St. Joseph County Department of Health came into a contract with Joia Crear-Perry and her organization, the New Orleans based National Birth Equity Collaborative, in April of this year. The county paid nearly $20,000 for a seminar on April 13th and 14th with Crear-Perry as the keynote speaker, in which she blamed “White Supremacy” as the reason for health disparities between races.
In one slide titled “Disrupting the Framework of White Supremacy,” she claimed “White supremacy is the current framework from which culture is derived. As a result, many of the actions we take are also influenced by whiteness, sometimes without us even knowing.” In another slide she quotes Critical Race Theory enthusiast, Ibram X. Kendi, while claiming “Racist policies create health inequities.”
However, much of what she calls the “Birth Equity Agenda” is also pushing abortion, claiming taking away a “woman’s right to choose” is racist. Her website is also predominantly geared toward killing the unborn.
The county has now gone into a partnership with Crear-Perry to conduct a large-scale county-wide survey on how medical care for expecting mothers is actually racist in St. Joseph County.
A DOCTOR DISGRACED
Crear-Perry’s medical practicing history is full of redflags in which she has shown herself to be dishonest and careless, at the least.
According to Louisiana state medical licensing records, in 2005, Crear-Perry had her hospital privileges partially revoked by the Baptist Memorial Medical Center for not following hospital rules and putting patient safety as risk. Crear-Perry was told her privileges would be restored after she went through another year of obstetrics training “at an approved residency program.” She requested a leave of absence to complete that training. However, instead of doing so, she sought staff privileges at another hospital, East Jefferson General Hospital, and never disclosed her suspension.
Crear-Perry also failed to disclose her suspension to the State Board of Medical Examiners, as required by law. She practiced for three years before the death of a child at her hands led to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In 2007, Crear-Perry is accused of puncturing the amniotic sac of a 20-week pregnant woman, leading to the death of her unborn son. According to an article from the Times-Picayune, Crear-Perry was attempting to remove a non-existent IUD (implanted birth control device). Crear-Perry did not perform an ultrasound to confirm the existence of an IUD and performed the procedure without the use of an ultrasound when she ruptured the amniotic sac. The mother gave birth to a stillborn child weeks later.
In 2008, East Jefferson General Hospital revoked Crear-Perry’s medical privileges after they discovered she did not disclose her previous suspension from Baptist Memorial Medical Center. That same year, Crear-Perry was accused of medical malpractice that lead to the death of a new mother, according to the Times-Picayune.
Only months later, the State of Louisiana suspending Crear-Perry’s medical license for 6. However, the Licensing Board stayed the suspension in lieu of a 3 year medical license probation. Crear-Perry was ordered to do several things in order to have her license fully restored, however she ignored the state order and continued to practice medicine illegally.
In 2009, the State of Louisiana suspended Crear-Perry’s license entirely.
Then, in 2010, Crear-Perry was selected by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to be the city’s acting Health Director. That position was short-lived, as controversy over her suspended license led to her quickly resigning the position, according to a report by the Times-Picayune.
It wasn’t until 2014 that the State of Louisiana fully restored Crear-Perry’s medical license.
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH SILENCES JOURNALIST
In a St. Joseph County Board of Health meeting last week, much of the board and employees of the health department praised the Birth Equity initiative partnership with Crear-Perry.
However, during public comment, the board initially refused to take questions or comment from REAL News Michiana Reporter, Clifton French. Instead, Board President Heidi A. Beidinger‑Burnett, turned off the Zoom meeting quickly after RNM brought up concerns about Crear-Perry’s past.
The project with the County Health Department is being spearheaded by Sally Dixon, Fetal Infant Mortality Review Program Coordinator. If you have questions about the program, you can contact her at SDixon@sjcindiana.com.
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