The mission of Spectrum Health is to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. To most effectively fulfill this mission, we acknowledge that structural racism has harmed the people and communities we serve. Structural racism operates within and among the many systems that comprise our society in ways that are both synergistic and mutually reinforcing. We acknowledge that addressing racism requires remedies based on honest reflection, authentic collaboration and hard work, and compels us to think and act in ways that will stretch and challenge us. At Spectrum Health, we pledge to take on the challenge to eliminate racism and its impacts on health, hope and lives, both within our organization and in the communities we serve.
To this end, at Spectrum Health, we commit to an anti-racist strategy that amplifies and expands existing efforts, while also launching new actions.
New and existing efforts include, but are not limited to:
Conduct rigorous analyses of internal procedures, policies, practices, and cultural norms of the organization to unearth their effects on the social and economic conditions and health of team members and patients in communities of color, including analysis of health outcome data that is disaggregated by race and ethnicity. We will use findings to reform internal procedures, practices, policies, and norms to create and sustain health equity.
Increase team member knowledge, skill, and capacity, through implicit bias training, anti-racism education, empathy exercises, and other tools to identify structural and systemic forms of racism and address its impacts on health equity. We aim to do this at all levels of the organization, including executive leadership and governing boards; and
Ensure that strategic priorities and associated tactics of Spectrum Health are regularly and systematically evaluated for their impacts on health equity among patients, members and the communities they come from to eliminate differences in social, economic and health outcomes based on race and ethnicity; and
Develop, implement and rigorously evaluate data-informed strategies to ensure health equity among patients, members and communities we serve.
This work calls for us to listen deeply and engage authentically those communities most impacted by health inequities. This work also calls for us to live our values by exhibiting compassion through deep caring, authentically collaborating with existing and new partners, and navigating new territory with curiosity and courage.
In the days, months, and years to come, the communities of color we serve will have great challenges in efforts to rebound in the wake of the current health, social and economic crises. The health and economic inequities amplified by COVID-19 will persist and intensify as communities of color disproportionately experience prolonged and permanent job loss, evictions and homelessness, food insecurity and hunger, educational shortfalls, and associated downward spirals of hopelessness, poor health (physical and mental) and shortened lives. Spectrum Health has the opportunity and the mission-driven imperative to help create an alternative future – one in which we live up to our mission to improve health, inspire hope, and save lives.