23 Catholic health systems team up to combat racism

Twenty-three Catholic health systems nationwide have joined with the Catholic Health Association of the United States in a commitment to combat systemic racism and achieve health equity, the association said

The new membership-driven initiative was announced in a Feb. 4 news release. The pledge includes prioritizing equity in response to the coronavirus, as well as examining and changing hiring, promotion and retention practices, and being involved in stronger partnerships with communities of color to improve health outcomes. It also includes supporting policy changes that address racism and social injustice.

"COVID-19's greater impact on communities of color and the police killings of George Floyd and others demonstrate the urgent need to address the devastating impact racism has on the health and well-being of individuals and communities," Sister Mary Haddad, the Catholic Health Association's president and CEO, said in the news release. "We in the Catholic health ministry, responding to the Gospel mandate for justice, are called to renew our commitment to eliminate the racial inequities in our communities and to acknowledge and confront our own shortcomings so that we can become agents of healing and positive change."

Health systems that have signed the pledge:

Ascension (St. Louis)
Avera Health (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Benedictine (Hermantown, Minn.)
Bon Secours Mercy Health (Cincinnati)
Christus Health (Irving, Texas)
CommonSpirit Health (Chicago)
Covenant Health (Tewksbury, Mass.)
Elizabeth Seton Children's (Yonkers, N.Y.)
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (Baton Rouge, La.)
Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries (Manitowoc, Wis.)
Holy Redeemer Health System (Meadowbrook, Pa.)
Hospital Sisters Health System (Springfield, Ill.)
Mercy (St. Louis)
Mercy Health Services (Baltimore)
MercyOne (Des Moines, Iowa)
Peace Care St. Ann's (Jersey City, N.J.)
PeaceHealth (Vancouver, Wash.)
Providence St. Joseph Health (Renton, Wash.)
SCL Health (Broomfield, Colo.)
Sisters of Charity Health System (Cleveland)
SMP Health System (Fargo, N.D.)
SSM Health (St. Louis)
Trinity Health (Livonia, Mich.)

Together, these organizations employ nearly a half-million people in 46 states and Washington, D.C., according to the association. 

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