Community Health Center Addresses Racism and Health Inequities
AKRON, OH (June 19, 2020) – The death of George Floyd has outraged not only this country, but the entire world. There is a resounding demand for justice and resolve. His death reminds us of others that have also lost their lives- Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and far too many other members of our black communities. We are in desperate need of eliminating the oppression of all persons of color.
We are fully aware that damaging actions such as those we have witnessed these past several weeks (and throughout the history of our nation) must stop. Our nation’s social history and its resulting disproportionate social outcomes have led to disparities in health outcomes, with negative impacts on communities of color. The toll of health inequity is born by our minority communities and is evidenced by higher morbidity and mortality rates. This can be shown via multiple health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, certain cancers and infant mortality. AxessPointe staff work daily to eliminate racial and socioeconomic health disparities and to ensure our patients can live to their fullest health potential. Racism undermines this goal. Therefore, the continued existence of racism in this country, or anywhere else, must no longer be tolerated.
In the words of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from a speech he made on March 25, 1966 at the Medical Committee for Human Rights-Chicago, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.”
In our efforts to eliminate health disparities, we strive to provide culturally competent care and respect is at the heart of cultural competence. Patients who feel their healthcare providers respect their beliefs, customs, values, language and traditions are more likely to communicate freely and honestly, which can lead to improved patient outcomes and reduced health and healthcare disparities.
AxessPointe Community Health Centers remains committed to ensuring that our healthcare providers and staff at every point of care are knowledgeable of the cultural factors that influence individuals’ health beliefs and behaviors. We also ensure our staff are provided with the tools they need to serve a multi-cultural patient community.
We welcome and serve everyone without regard to race, religion, political position, sexual orientation and/or socioeconomic status. Since 1995, AxessPointe has maintained a singular purpose: to provide the best health care to the communities we serve.
As a federally qualified health center, we continue to fulfill our mission statement: To provide a quality, affordable and compassionate health home to every patient, every time in all communities.
On behalf of AxessPointe Community Health Centers’ Board of Directors and staff, we are all in this together and we will continue to support the communities that we have had the privilege of serving in Summit and Portage counties for the last 25 years.
Christopher J. Richardson
AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc.