Dear Wellforce Community,
This week, the pain and outrage that has engulfed our country following the horrific murder of George Floyd sparked protests in our state and specifically in the streets and neighborhoods surrounding one of our members, Tufts Medical Center. I imagine that many of you like me have been emotionally impacted by these events; it has created among us feelings of immense sadness, frustration, anger and/or despair about the current state of race relations in our country. These feelings are further intensified by the knowledge that health disparities and social determinants of health also run along racial lines. These have been acutely exposed in the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Black communities across our nation.
As a leading health system and professionals called to heal, we are in a special position to affect positive change. We are a resource for wide-ranging and wonderfully diverse communities and we understand that foundational to good health is the need for individuals to feel safe and accepted.
I am writing to you today to assure you that Wellforce is committed to being part of the solution to end structural racism and we will need your help. We cannot ignore the systemic racism or the implicit and explicit biases that harm the Black community. Nor can we accept the discrimination against any human being based on their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference or religious beliefs. This must come to an end.
Wellforce CEOs and Human Resources leaders will work together to discuss initiatives currently underway at each member organization and how we can accelerate and add to these for the benefit of all employees, providers and communities. At the same time, we each must own our individual responsibility to start improving the situation today. We must acknowledge that racism is prevalent in our country and not shy aware from this horrible and disturbing reality. We need to talk with each other and reach out to those who are different than us to hear and appreciate their stories and perspectives, most especially those in communities of color. We must value diversity, equity and inclusion, and intentionally incorporate it in all that is done from hiring to planning to implementing initiatives. There is no magic cure to these deeply entrenched problems and permanent change will take time; that’s why our communities need healers like us right now.
I look forward to talking with you more in the near future about what we can do together and what resources I and Wellforce can provide you. In the meantime, please be safe and carry with you the knowledge that your Wellforce leaders share your commitment to compassion and to change.
Should you need any assistance during this difficult time, please reach out to your manager, Human Resources department or our Employee Assistance Program at 800-225-2527 or healthcareEAP.com.
In unity and solidarity,
President and CEO