Spectrum Health commits $100M to addressing racial and ethnic inequalities

Spectrum Health, a 14-hospital system based in Grand Rapids, Mich., announced June 12 that it will dedicate at least $100 million over the next decade to improve health equity. 

The health system said it is accelerating and expanding its efforts in addressing racial and ethnic health inequalities. It upped its total monetary commitment to these efforts by 40 percent. 

"Our mission is to improve health, inspire hope and save lives for every person, and we understand the urgent need to do more for communities that for too long have experienced health and social inequities," Spectrum Health President and CEO Tina Freese Decker said in a news release. "The events of the past few months related to COVID-19 and systemic racism have highlighted the need to do more for our African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino and other underserved communities. These events have highlighted, for example, the fact that these communities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19."

The health system said a big part of its efforts include establishing and building on collaborations with these communities and with the clinics, agencies and other healthcare organizations that serve them. 

Spectrum Health said the expanded commitment will also build on its programs that focus on better management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and help expand access to healthcare. 

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