Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.
Baptist Medical Missionary & Family Practitioner
Myers Foundation Christian Family Health Centers
P.O. Box 269 Belzoni, MS 39038
662-392-2016 662-247-1471 662-247-4767 Fax
e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com web site: www.MyersFoundation.net
May 11, 2015
Atty. Michelle Marie Leonhart
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
8701 Morrissette Drive
Springfield, VA 22152
RE: Over Prosecution of African American Physicians by Law Enforcement
Dear Atty. Leonhart:
The over prosecution of black physicians by law enforcement has hit home with me in Mississippi. I am unable to work at the Delta Health Center in Mound Bayou in the Mississippi Delta because my Mississippi DEA certificate is being held up. This was because of unfair and discriminatory action taken against me by the Oklahoma Board of Narcotics (OBNDD) and the Oklahoma DEA earlier this year (www.americanpaininstitute.org – www.painpatientscoalition.com).
As one of the leading grass roots advocates for chronic pain treatment in America, I cannot begin to express to you my anger with how I have been mistreated as an activist and black physician by law enforcement over this entire situation. I consider myself a victim of a black medical Ferguson. Even the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office considers me a victim of fraud. Racism is real in our criminal justice system.
I have not been arrested or accused of any criminal violations. The punishment levied against me by the OBNDD is not justified. I am being blamed for the actions of three other white physicians at the clinic where I was employed for several years. I consider Oklahoma one of the most racist states in the country. With the recent death of my mother, I no longer have any desire to practice medicine in Oklahoma again.
The decision on when I can receive my DEA certificate rest solely with the DEA.
As you know, we have a new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. It appears that she wants to confront the injustice African Americans are experiencing with law enforcement. I hope that she will also deal with the over prosecution of black physicians by law enforcement, including the DOJ.
The actions of your agency against me cannot be justified. The Oklahoma DEA has a well documented history of discrimination concerning my practice in Oklahoma.
The over prosecution and discriminatory actions of law enforcement against black physicians,
has contributed to one of the leading cause of health disparities in our community. Removing the ability of black physicians to practice medicine in the poorest communities in America, especially the Mississippi Delta, adds to the disturbing trend of premature death affecting African Americans.
Tchula, Mississippi, in Holmes County, has the least life expectancy of any county in the United States. It has been the location of the first Myers Foundation Christian Family Health Center where our over twenty five year medical missions outreach was founded in 1989.
The discriminatory actions of law enforcement against the first ordained and commissioned medical missionary to the Mississippi Delta, America’s poorest geographical region, in the history of the African American church, a Baptist minister and physician, considered by some as the “Mother Teresa” of Mississippi, can only be described as morally reprehensible.
A civil rights activist who organized two successful “America’s In Pain!” - MARCH ON WASHINGTON – “Silent No More!” demanding congressional hearings on the pain crises in America in 2004 and 2005, as well as a 2004 Frederick Douglass Freedom March to bring attention to poor pain management in African Americans, who can no longer provide health care to the poorest counties in America.
The late Frank McCune, M.D., M.B.A., Chairman of the National Juneteenth Medical Commission, the late Atty. and Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, Chokwe Lumumba and I conducted a panel discussion at the National Medical Association (NMA) regional conference in 2012 concerning the over prosecution of black physicians by law enforcement and the DOJ.
Because of the unrest in Baltimore, the country is focusing on the injustice of the treatment of African Americans by law enforcement. I believe it is also the time to deal with the situation for black physicians in America.
It is my understanding that my Mississippi DEA certificate will be held up for at least one year from March or April of this year. I humbly request that your agency allow me to receive my DEA certificate by July of 2015.
I have no intentions or desire to practice in the racist state of Oklahoma again. July of 2015 would be at least three months without being allowed to receive my Mississippi DEA certificate in a state badly in need of physicians to serve in the Mississippi Delta.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.
Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.
cc: Lawrence Sanders, M.D., President, National Medical Association (NMA)
1. Copy of letter from Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office (dated 8/25/14)