Equitas Health responds to racism claims 

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Columbus, Ohio-based Equitas Health CEO Bill Hardy has released a statement in response to allegations of racial discrimination at the company amid calls for him to step down from his role, The Columbus Dispatch reported Oct. 8. 

In an article published Oct. 5 from The Columbus Dispatch, current and former employees of the 13 citywide, LGBTQ community healthcare system said they suffered racism at work. Fifteen employees spoke to the paper saying they had witnessed or experienced mistreatment of Black employees and discrimination in hiring, and that complaints of racism were not taken seriously enough. 

In a statement attributed to Mr. Hardy, Equitas Health acknowledged the article and "the exclusion of BIPOC people from the greater LGBTQ+ community. Equitas Health apologizes for any role we had in perpetuating such." 

In response to the claims, the system has promised to create a new executive position titled "chief people and culture officer" to oversee culture, diversity, equity and inclusion as well as human resources.

Cultural groups in Columbus, however, called on Equitas to change its culture, with one demanding that Mr. Hardy step down, according to the Dispatch. Other former employees also called for changes in the senior leadership, with one saying the statement "danced around" what needed to be said.

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