A Statement from Bronson Healthcare on Racial Injustice
by Nelson Karre, Board Chair, and Bill Manns, President and CEO
As an organization whose mission statement reads: Together, We Advance the Health of Our Communities, Bronson Healthcare condemns the senseless killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. This is the most recent in a very long string of acts of violence and killings of unarmed African Americans.
Bronson joins with so many of you who are both sad and angry over the death of George Floyd. This tragedy adds to a series of tragedies that must stop: Ahmaud Arbery, fatally shot while jogging; Breonna Taylor, shot to death by police mistakenly raiding her home; Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin…and the list goes on and on. These events are both shocking and, unfortunately, have become all too common in our nation.
For Bronson to live up to our mission, we must first acknowledge that racism is not just a problem for African Americans. Racism is everyone’s problem because it erodes the very fabric of our society.
At a time when much of the nation has been focused on reopening the economy after “flattening the curve” of COVID-19, we have to acknowledge there is another pandemic impacting America. Dr. Sandra Shullman, president of the American Psychological Association, says we are living in a “racism pandemic” as well. And, very much like the COVID-19 pandemic, there are no communities that are immune to it—not even ours.
- We see systemic racism borne out as the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionally impacted our communities of color.
- We see systemic racism borne out as we view our infant mortality rates.
- We see systemic racism borne out as we view our diabetes rates.
- We see systemic racism borne out as we view nearly every other healthcare metric in southwest Michigan and in other parts of this great nation.
To begin the healing, there is a tremendous amount of work to do, but only by standing together and working together, will we be able to do it. Alone, we are unable to address every community issue, but we can come together as community partners to own and address the racial inequities and health disparities within our control.
As this region’s largest employer and leading healthcare system, Bronson unequivocally condemns racism, bigotry, discrimination and violence. We support peaceful protests and are troubled by the riots and destruction that have occurred in conjunction with them.
We want our communities, especially our communities of color, to know that we hear you, we join you in the fight against racial injustice, and we are committed to doing the work required to ensure trust in our healthcare services to advance the health of all people in our communities.