Racial disparities in the U.S. affect every aspect of life, including healthcare. Especially healthcare. The loss of George Floyd’s life is as senseless as it is tragic and must serve as a wake-up call about racial disparity, inequality, and social injustice in our communities. Many of us have been watching and listening to the past 2 weeks to the stories and messages from Black Americans and we have been again reminded that despite all the progress in our society, we have so far to go.
In providing optimal healthcare, it is vital to not just listen to the patient but make sure they have truly been heard. As the healthcare provider in our community, it is important for Jefferson Healthcare to take a stand against racism and all other forms of social injustice. We have a loud voice and when it comes to speaking out against institutional racism and advancing social justice causes, we must speak up. We believe that part of our mission is to help everyone we serve reach their full potential and that includes working to bridge disparities when they exist and to treat racism for what it is – a public health crisis.
We stay committed to expanding our work in health equity and addressing social determinants of health. We intend to continue to use our advocacy voice for the promotion of diversity, particularly in rural communities. We also want to ensure a safe, diversified, and equitable workplace.
We have seen protests against institutional racism reach rural communities including our own in the past week, and as a Jefferson County institution, we have the responsibility to be a leader to drive the work in creating an equitable and just community. We hope that our voice will be joined by others over not only the next few weeks but the years to come, to create a truly just community and society.