Group that opposes DEI efforts in medicine sues program that helps Black doctors as discriminatory

Doctors group Do No Harm, which asserts that its mission is to "safeguard health care from ideological threats," claims it has at least one member "ready and able to apply" for Vituity's "Bridge to Brilliance" program" if the company stops discriminating against non-Black applicants.

A group that opposes diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in medicine has launched a lawsuit against what they view as a discriminatory program for Black doctors.

Bloomberg Law reported that the doctors’ group Do No Harm is taking legal action against Vituity over its “Bridge to Brilliance” program, a physician incentive initiative that includes a $100,000 signing bonus as part of its attempts to attract talent.

“Black patients want the best doctors and the best medical care – not doctors that are racially concordant,” said Do No Harm Board Chair Dr. Stanley Goldfarb. “Vituity’s Bridge to Brilliance program, which offers physicians hiring opportunities and sign-on bonuses on the basis of race, is abhorrent and rightfully illegal.”

Vituity Bridge to Brilliance Program
Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, founder of doctors’ group Do No Harm, has launched a lawsuit against Vituity over what they view as a discriminatory program for Black physicians. (Photo Credit: Screenshot/ News via Do No Harm)

Vituity is a physician-owned and maintained patient medical network that provides various medical services nationwide, reportedly seeing 8 million patients annually across 450 practice sites.

The company touts that they designed the “Bridge to Brilliance” program to fill gaps in access and opportunity in health care for historically marginalized communities.

Vituity said in a statement to Fox News Digital that it firmly believes in the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion, which the “Bridge to Brilliance” program emphasizes.

“We will vigorously defend the program,” the organization added, “and continue our mission to enhance health care services for all communities.”

According to its website, the company’s DEI/Health Equity team leads the program, which “provides aspiring and current health care professionals with the resources and support needed to thrive on their journey in medicine.”

However, Do No Harm claims the initiative constitutes racial discrimination in violation of federal law since it appears to be solely available to Black physicians.

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According to the lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the $100,000 signing incentive for the program is “much higher” than Vituity’s regular signing bonuses. 

The lawsuit claims Vituity infringes on Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act, which “protects the equal right of all persons… to make and enforce contracts without respect to race,” and forbids intentional race discrimination in the making and enforcing of public and private contracts.

According to the suit, Vituity also violates Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which states that no individual shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any health program or activity, any part of which receives Federal financial assistance, including credits, subsidies, or insurance contracts, on the basis of any ground prohibited under Title VI.

Do No Harm has nearly 6,100 members, including doctors, nurses, and physicians from around the United States and 14 other countries. 

The group, which asserts that its mission is to “safeguard health care from ideological threats,” claims in its lawsuit that it has at least one member, referred to as Doctor A, “ready and able to apply for the incentive program if Vituity stops discriminating against non-Black applicants.” 

It also references a recent Supreme Court judgment, Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. Harvard, in its complaint, which outlawed affirmative action in college admissions. 

Do No Harm requests a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction prohibiting the program from closing the application period, selecting and offering applicants positions, or enforcing racially discriminatory criteria until the parties resolve the lawsuit. It also seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting Vituity from implementing its racially discriminatory program eligibility requirements. 

“Medical staffing agencies like Vituity are given the important responsibility of offering medical positions to the most qualified medical professionals,” said Goldfarb, who contends that companies hire medical professionals on merit alone, Bloomberg reported. “Like all aspects of health care, patient safety and patient concerns should be primary, not the skin color or the racial makeup of their physician.”

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