We are deeply saddened by the recent displays of injustice in America—and the systemic racism that continues to plague our nation.
We are saddened and heartbroken over the horrific and unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others. We know that people around the country—our employees included—are grieving. Systemic racism persists in our schools, justice system, healthcare system, police departments and elsewhere, and underlying biases continue to disproportionately impact Black Americans.
At Medecision, we take a firm stance against racism, injustice and inequality. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” On that note, members of the Medecision executive leadership team recently held a call with employees to discuss recent events.
“We stand behind our Black colleagues and what they’re experiencing in their families and communities,” said Deb Gage, president and chief executive officer, Medecision. “It’s important that we be empathetic, listen, talk and seek to understand how these events impact not only our Black colleagues, but us all.”
“For the past few months, our attention has been on the coronavirus pandemic and we’ve all hoped for a vaccine to protect us from the virus,” added Jennifer Ponski, executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “But now, we need to pray for a vaccine against intolerance and disparity, which afflicts a large part of our nation who happen to have a different skin color.”
As a healthcare company, we acknowledge that racial disparities exist within the healthcare system—a truth underscored even more amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Black individuals account for only 13.4% of the nation’s population, about 26% of COVID-19 patients in the United States have been Black. Black COVID-19 patients are also nearly three times as likely to be hospitalized, which researchers say “may indicate that African Americans have more advanced or severe illness at the time of presenting for COVID-19 testing and medical care.” There are four key reasons that Black Americans are dying at a faster rate than other groups, according to The Washington Post. Black Americans have less access to care and higher rates of underlying health conditions such as heart disease; are more likely to work in “essential” jobs; are more likely to face housing disparities that put them at greater risk; and receive inconsistent and poor information from government leaders.
Our belief in inclusion and equity extends to our mission of liberating the healthcare system, said Ellen Donahue-Dalton, executive vice president and chief marketing and customer experience officer, Medecision. “Our goal is to lead the way and help other pioneers in making our healthcare system give better care to people of any color, any age, or any background,” she said.
“Our job and our duty is to lead—not just for our employees, but our customers, too,” added Chris LaVictoire Mahai, president, Aveus.
Speaking out against racial disparities and injustice isn’t enough for us. To help make a positive difference and support inclusion in healthcare, we are donating to the National Collaborative for Health Equity, an organization dedicated to promoting health equity through action, leadership, inclusion and collaboration. To find out where you can donate, click here.