My emotions are conflicted as I try to understand the crisis unfolding in cities and states across the country after the death of George Floyd. I feel physical and emotional pain, anger, and I am ashamed that we as individuals treat each other with a level of disrespect that culminates in bullying, violence, and in some cases, death.
Comprehensive Healthcare is a not-for-profit organization that believes in diversity, inclusiveness and empowerment of all individuals to lead healthy, strong, vibrant lives. We will continue to believe that we must be responsive to the needs of everyone we serve, regardless of racial or ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, age, or ability.
I want to acknowledge that 43.8% of our staff members are people of color—which is a close representation of the region we serve. I also want to acknowledge that for people who are of color, it is likely you have personally experienced demeaning comments or threats simply due to the color of your skin. Although I will never be able to know first-hand what it is like to experience that type of pain and sorrow, I can support and walk beside you.
Structural and systemic racism is woven into our history, and it is evident everywhere—in the criminal justice system, in housing, in behavioral and physical health care, in education, and the list goes on. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted these disparities, as communities of color have been experiencing economic losses, community disruptions, lower access to health care, and a disproportional number of fatalities to the virus.
We are committed to addressing and supporting racial, ethnic, and health disparities. This commitment is, and will continue to be reflective in our policies and procedures, and through our support of trainings such as crisis intervention training for law enforcement officers, and mental health training for the general public. On behalf of Comprehensive Healthcare, we will also be donating $10,000 to the Northwest Justice Initiative to serve the Greater Columbia region’s race equity and justice initiative. The Northwest Justice Initiative is a network of legal and community leaders who promote and support legal and policy reforms to advance race equity and racial justice. If you would like to donate, simply visit their website at www.nwjustice.org/donate, and you can also request to allocate your donation to a specific region.
We send our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the Floyd Family, the Arbery Family, the Taylor Family, and all families faced with the loss of someone who died due to racial and ethnic inequality and injustice.
We call upon our communities to challenge systemic racism in our homes, our businesses, and even in our own hearts. Let us continually work toward a healthy mind, healthy body, and vibrant community for all.