Hospitals Pursue Health Equity to Honor Martin Luther King Jr.

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” As we honor Dr. King today and the legacy he created striving for racial equality, the MHA and our member hospitals and health systems remain committed to the pledge every MHA member chief executive officer originally signed in 2020 indicating a unified responsibility to addressing disparities, dismantling institutional racism and achieving health equity. Simply put, hospital leaders will continue to listen, act and lead towards achieving health equity and eliminating racial disparities.

Words do not do justice to the tremendous change Dr. King led in our country. It falls on each of us as leaders to continue his work. In our hospitals, efforts persist to ensure all healthcare professionals are trained on the impacts of unconscious bias. With the help of the MHA Keystone Center, over 90% of hospitals have completed the Health Equity Organizational Assessment to identify the health equity priorities for their communities. Industry leaders are also meeting from all areas of Michigan within the MHA Keystone Center’s Health Equity Task Force to make health equity engrained in all facets of care.

Hospitals have treated the end results of decades of health inequity for far too long. We remind Michiganders today that eliminating health disparities is an all-hands-on-deck effort. The time is now for healthcare leaders to drive change and to achieve more equitable healthcare in Michigan.

MHA Issues Statement on the Tragic Death of Patrick Lyoya

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

The video footage released today of the tragic shooting death of Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids is jarring and incredibly disturbing. Almost two years ago, our nation witnessed the murder of George Floyd, which exposed for our entire country the racial injustices that exist in our communities. What happened April 4 in one of Michigan’s neighborhoods to Patrick Lyoya is unacceptable and shows that our state has so much more to accomplish to address systemic racism.

We express our deepest condolences to the family of Patrick Lyoya, those mourning his loss and all individuals who share these feelings of fear and anger at another Black community member losing their life unnecessarily.

Hospitals are a welcoming place of care for all those who need our services. The mission of the MHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities, and that mission is inclusive of every race, ethnicity and nationality. What happened to Patrick Lyoya is not acceptable; we stand with all our patients, their loved ones, our communities and our employees as we come to terms with Patrick’s unnecessary death.

Hospitals throughout our state will reflect on this tragedy as a time to come together and share peaceful expressions of our hurt and anguish. Following Mr. Floyd’s tragic death, MHA member hospital and health system chief executive officers signed a pledge expressing a unified commitment to address racial disparities, dismantle institutional racism and achieve health equity. We promise our efforts will not stop until we have achieved those goals.