Our Commitment to Racial Equity

June 22, 2020 By: Bob Atlas

Two weeks ago I shared that we can and must do better as a field to address racism as a public health crisis. As you and your associates demonstrated during the recent White Coats for Black Lives tributes and in your celebrations of Juneteenth yesterday, it is not enough to denounce hateful behavior and systemic racism—we must act.

This week, MHA’s Executive Committee of the Board prioritized this shared goal and adopted, unanimously, MHA’s Commitment to Racial Equity

This statement is both an affirmation of good work already underway and a call to more intensive, immediate action to make a real difference in our state. MHA commits to engage in advocacy, research, and two-way learning—all aimed at breaking down barriers to racial health equity.

Each member organization also is asked to weave racial equity into the core fabric of your organizations. The commitment asks your hospitals and health systems to teach leaders and all team members how to understand and to speak about race—advancing these conversations and equipping everyone to dismantle implicit bias and practice culturally competent care.

Executive Committee members hope this document reflects work you are doing already. They also hope you will assess, reenergize, and resolve to do more.

As the committee made clear, we are called on not only to act, but also to hold ourselves accountable by measuring our progress all along the way.

We recognize that to make deep and lasting changes will take time. That’s why we cannot delay. Even in the midst of the pandemic, we have to move.

Thank you for doing your part as Maryland hospitals join hands with one another and with so many others in the march to health equity.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO

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