Public invited to DMU to hear from author on medical apartheid

January 11, 2010 —

Des Moines University invites you to hear Harriet A. Washington, author of “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present” on January 27 at noon. Free and open to all, her talk will be held in the Des Moines University (DMU) Olsen Medical Education Center, 3200 Grand Avenue in Des Moines.

“Des Moines University is bringing Harriet Washington to speak as a part of the observations of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month,” explained Misty Huacuja-LaPointe, DMU diversity coordinator. ” We want to remember the legacy of Dr. King’s fight for civil rights and to understand that we must know the history – good and bad – of the medical profession in order to better serve a diverse patient population.”

The Tuskegee Experiment may be the most famous occurrence of medical experimentation on African-Americans. It is, however, far from the only occurrence. Author Harriet Washington will speak about this and other examples of blacks being used against their will for medical purposes.

In “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present,” Washington documents numerous examples from slavery to the present. In her talk by the same name, Washington will also discuss the consequences of this long-term experimentation and how it may continue to resonate into the future.

For more info about her book, visit www.medicalapartheid.com. For more information about the event, contact Misty Huacuja-LaPointe at 515.271.1709 or Misty.Huacuja-LaPointe@dmu.edu. For a map to campus, visit www.dmu.edu/about/campus.

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Des Moines University is the only private medical school in Iowa, offering graduate-level, professional degree programs in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, anatomy, biomedical sciences, health care administration and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students’ pass rate on national examinations and board certifications is consistently higher than the national average and the rates at similar institutions. For more information, please visit www.dmu.edu.


Courtney Tompkins has been part of the DMU marketing team since Nov. 2005 and loves promoting a school she believes in so thoroughly. Proud daughter and patient of DMU alumni, Courtney knows, first-hand, that Des Moines University is doing a world of good. A fan of all outdoor festivals, fruity drinks and nearly all edibles, she has a hard time narrowing down her list of favorite places to go and things to do but lists the Iowa State Fair as an all-time fave. She loves her 8-minute commute to DMU from Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. She and husband Tyler are owned by three large dogs, Tonka, Tucker and Tank.

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