Dear UofL Health family,
The past several months we have seen how events in our community and across the nation can shape us as individuals and as an organization. I want to take a moment to acknowledge the many losses, sadness and challenges we are currently experiencing. The civil unrest taking place across our nation, the loss of Breonna Taylor (a member of our UofL Health family), and global pandemic, has impacted all of our lives, saddened us and created an uncertainty about our future as we navigate our new normal.
We have experienced the loss of loved ones and friends due to the coronavirus. Across America, we have lost more than 100,000 fellow citizens. Many of our family, friends and neighbors are facing financial hardship and emotional tolls. It has taken a toll on the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and disproportionately the African American community. UofL Health offers our thoughts and prayers as we grieve the tragedies around us.
We are also experiencing an emotional impact in our daily lives as discontent and civil unrest unfolds across our country, in our city and our neighborhoods. Uncertainty has become a constant companion to many of us. It is important during this time to be supportive of each other and remind ourselves that we are stronger together than we are apart.
We know more needs to be done and silence is not an option. As an influential organization in our community, we must acknowledge that diversity and inclusion are central to creating a healthier community. The systemic injustice that has been the focus of recent protests is a serious threat to humanity and needs to be acknowledged by all of us.
At UofL Health, we are committed to examining our role in eliminating racial inequality in health care. We will take this extraordinary moment in history to reflect, plan and commit to building a stronger health care organization that better serves our diverse community. We are committed to ensuring equitable care and service delivery, enhancing our cultural competency, supporting the community in health initiatives, and participating in constructive dialogue that will bring about systemic change. We will also support and stand with those who demand effective sustainable change and work to make our city and state better and healthier than ever.
In the coming weeks, we will develop ongoing plans to address health disparities and inclusion as well as the diversity of our greatest resource, our team members.
More specifically, there are Nine Action Steps that we are immediately launching:
- Recommit to treat everyone equally every day and respect the individual in the care we provide no matter the circumstances.
- Build on our extraordinary success in our Trauma outreach, increase social interactions with our community and better serve the underserved.
- Review recruitment processes and implement new policies to ensure that we are diverse in our hiring practices.
- Review for any inequities that may exist in our pay structures across every entity.
- Focus on de-escalation versus confrontation for our security teams and provide enhanced training to ensure that we are safe while respecting the rights of each person.
- Management training on diversity and inclusion to better serve all of our employees.
- Louisville Metro Police Department are our partners; we are committed to support them. We need their expertise and guidance to make sure that our patients and our staff are safe.
- Establish an Inclusivity Council led by Dr. Edward Miller to help to increase our commitment to listening, responding and reacting in a timely manner. This will make our organization stronger and will include independent leaders from our community.
- We recognize that we must change as an organization and are committed to be a safe place for you to work and for our patients to get care.
We must recognize and understand the effects of social, economic and educational injustices. We know it will require a commitment of time, resources and ongoing education to address the issues of racism and its impact on the emotional and physical health of our community.
Never before has the Power of U been a more meaningful and noteworthy phrase as we join together in solidarity to become a voice in our community. We will be reaching out to you for input, invite your collaboration and welcome your feedback as we work to establish diversity and inclusion strategies to move our organization and community forward. Please send us any questions and comments to email@example.com.
Thank you for all that you do each and every day. This is a call for everyone within our organization to change. Please be part of our team and let’s make a difference. Together.