Health service providers and healthcare stakeholders join together to address racial inequities.
MINNEAPOLIS (September 18, 2020) Following months of critical conversations within organizations and community groups about how to deepen our commitment to a society in which the strength of our diversity is honored and celebrated, today we announce the creation of a joint commitment across health service providers and healthcare stakeholders throughout Minnesota to eliminate systemic racism and its negative impact on health and well-being.
The interlocking crises of a global pandemic, economic inequality and systemic racism have led us to an inflection point in how we understand our role as health care leaders on a shared journey to facilitate change for those we are privileged to employ and serve. The last few months have been marked by reflection, listening and learning in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the aftermath that gave voice to the generational trauma and pain of communities across Minnesota.
With the recognition that eliminating racial disparities is essential to fulfill our collective mission to care for ALL in the most impactful way, our on-going commitment to address racial disparities and inequities is based upon the following principles.
In recognizing our roles as providers of care, employers, purchasers, and community partners, we commit to:
- Re-examine our organizational policies with an equity lens and make any policy changes needed to promote equity and opportunity.
- Seek to understand different perspectives, experiences and appropriately adapt our behaviors to improve culturally responsive care.
- Work to eliminate decisions that negatively impact underrepresented and underserved groups.
- Improve access to and consumer experience for all needed care services- primary, specialty care, and hospital care.
- Partner with policymakers, employers, and community advocates to remove the economic barriers to health equity.
- Continue to build pathways that support our patients in addressing their health-related social needs and provide connections to community resources.
- Commit to hiring locally and promoting Black, Indigenous, people of color and other underrepresented and underserved people into leadership roles. We commit to be employers that hire, develop, retain and support a diverse workforce.
- Renew and expand our organizations’ commitment to providing anti-racism and implicit bias training for all leaders and staff.
- Advocate for increased funding for social needs, social services and programs that promote social justice.
- Advocate for investments that create innovative solutions to achieve enduring improvements in access, quality and health outcomes for the communities we serve.
- Promote the inclusion of businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, people of color and other underrepresented and underserved people when purchasing goods or services.
- Review any investment portfolio, assuring that we are invested in funds which align to our equity principles and values.
“We are grateful for the collaboration from so many in the creation of these guiding principles,” said Dr. Penny Wheeler, President and CEO of Allina Health. “While each organization may approach the work differently, the shared principles are meant to be a catalyst for the health care community to align on a direction and make progress faster than we would independently. Together, we have the ability to positively impact more than 100,000 employees across our organizations and throughout our communities.”
The principles are designed to demonstrate to the communities we serve our collective commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; create an impetus for critical conversations about the role of the health care system in addressing racial inequities and create an additional mechanism to hold ourselves accountable by sharing our commitments publicly.
“We recognize that humility, openness and determination will be required for long-lasting progress,” said Dr. Claire Neely, President and CEO of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). “Part of what makes the Minnesota health care sector so special is our culture of collaboration and demonstrated ability to achieve progress on issues of critical importance to the communities we serve.”
The 30 organizations who have adopted the guiding principles and committed to addressing racial disparities and inequities are:
Allina Health, Allina Health Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, CentraCare, Children’s Minnesota, CCM Health, Entira, Essentia Health, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, HealthPartners, Hennepin Healthcare, Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI), Medica, M Health Fairview, Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers, Minnesota Community Care, Minnesota Medical Association, MN Council of Health Plans, Minnesota Community Measurement, Natalis Counseling & Psychology Solutions, North Memorial Health, Nura Precision Pain Clinic, Planned Parenthood, Portico Healthnet, PrairieCare, PreferredOne, Southside Community Health Services, Stratis Health, UCare, University of Minnesota Physicians, and Voyage Health.