The following statement is made on behalf of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.
Last week, our nation looked on as a law enforcement officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota killed George Floyd despite his pleas for help. Tragically, Mr. Floyd is one of many black Americans whose lives have been lost because of the color of their skin, because of our society’s failure to address the systemic issues that feed racial injustice, and because they were not heard. As a result, protests erupted this weekend in cities across Michigan and the world against racism, police brutality and more.
As healthcare organizations, we see many of these issues through the lens of public health. To that end, let us be clear: the racial injustices present in Michigan communities are unacceptable and must end. We know that racially motivated violence, longstanding socioeconomic disparities that impede access to opportunity and services, and implicit biases have a disproportionate impact on the health of persons of color and are often deadly.
Today, we simply want to say this. Hospitals in Michigan are listening. Our mission at the MHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities. The MHA and hospitals across the state have ongoing work in the areas of implicit bias, inequities in care and social determinants of health – and we must do more.
As healthcare providers, major employers and community leaders, we want people of color to know – whether you are a patient, a patient’s loved one, a healthcare employee or simply someone who lives in the community – that we hear you, and we support peaceful efforts to demand better of our society