Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the high-profile tragic deaths of a number of Black Americans this year, are stark and painful reminders of the deep-seated racial inequities and systemic racism that persist today—not only in our society but within our healthcare industry as well.
Racism is unjust, unlawful and increasingly showing itself to be a deadly disease contributing to distrust in our U.S. healthcare system. It results in suboptimal care, shorter life expectancy, and a higher incidence of chronic conditions among people of color. Fighting this disease requires our condemnation, action and a sense of urgency within the healthcare industry to stop at nothing to reverse these health disparities once and for all. As the late Rep. John Lewis said so eloquently, “If you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have to say something. You have to do something.”
At TriHealth, we have been “doing something” to foster diversity, equity and inclusion within our culture since our founding in 1995, when our system designated its core values as respecting all people, valuing differences and responding to community needs. Since that time, our diversity, equity and inclusion work has been centered around the belief that real and lasting change is born from open and honest dialogue, awareness, understanding, more inclusive and equitable opportunities, and zero tolerance for discrimination or injustice of any kind.
Our progress has earned TriHealth a spot on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Hospitals and Health Systems in the nation for the past several years. Our diversity advisory councils were nationally recognized in 2013 as a best practice for team member engagement. In 2017, we launched goals aimed at increasing diversity in governance, leadership, our physician/provider community, and supply chain spending.