13 Pennsylvania hospitals pledge to combat racism, address healthcare disparities

Thirteen hospitals and health systems in the Philadelphia area said they have collectively committed to anti-racism and addressing healthcare disparities.

The partnership — which aims "to combat racism, inequality and discrimination in all its forms" — comes in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain and other Black Americans.

Mr. Floyd's Memorial Day death, videotaped by an onlooker who captured an officer pressing his knee into Mr. Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, ignited protests against racism and excessive police force worldwide. 

"Racism is a healthcare issue. We cannot address socioeconomic factors that are barriers to healthcare access — like trust in healthcare providers, income, transportation, education and housing — without acknowledging that systemic racism has caused these issues to be more prevalent in communities of color. If we are truly committed to the health of our patients and neighbors, we must work together to ensure that no one is overlooked, dismissed or underserved simply because of the color of their skin," the group of Pennsylvania organizations said in its letter of commitment.

Similarly to their colleagues in Chicago, the Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems have agreed to address health disparities in their area, as well as take other initiatives such as hiring and promoting leaders of color, working with community partners to address chronic health conditions that affect communities of color, and improving access to primary and specialty care.

Their full open letter to the community and their names are available here


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