Spectrum Health reinforces commitment to equity

ST. JOSEPH – Today, Spectrum Health issued an anti-racism pledge, committing to act against structural racism and pledging to take on the challenge to eliminate racism and its impact on health, hope and lives. The pledge follows Spectrum Health’s announcement to team members last week designating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday beginning in 2021.

“At Spectrum Health, we have firsthand knowledge of racial inequities. Martin Luther King Jr. saw it more than 50 years ago, and we see it today. We see how health outcomes differ among racial and ethnic groups, those living in rural and urban areas and without financial security,” said Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO, Spectrum Health. “This pledge affirms our health system’s commitment to eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity. It also outlines specific actions we are committed to taking, now and in the future, to address systemic racism internally and externally.”

In March 1966, at a Conference of the Medical Community for Human Rights, Martin Luther King Jr. called the injustices in health care the most shocking and inhuman of all forms of inequality. In 2020, COVID-19 illuminates again the gross disparities in health and health outcomes. Health systems are at a critical juncture and inflection point.

Spectrum Health’s anti-racism pledge was developed with the strategic direction of the health system’s internal Health Equity Council. The purpose of this newly formed council is to guide and coordinate a systemwide approach to measurably advance health equity by reducing health disparities experienced throughout its service areas.

Spectrum Health has focused its diversity, equity and inclusion  efforts in five areas: increasing the organization’s cultural competency, supplier diversity, community engagement, equity of care and workforce diversity.

The anti-racism pledge commits to doing more, including:

  • Conducting rigorous analyses of internal procedures, policies, practices and cultural norms of the organization
  • Increasing team member knowledge and skill
  • Ensuring strategic priorities and associated tactics are regularly and systematically evaluated for their impact on health equity among patients, members and their communities
  • Developing, implementing and rigorously evaluating data-informed strategies to ensure health equity among patients, members and the communities Spectrum Health serves

In addition, Spectrum Health has signed on with the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge, and is embracing its role as an Anchor Institution. Tina Freese Decker has also joined PwC’s CEO ACT!ON for Diversity and Inclusion commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Business

Niles restaurant week to showcase 18 restaurants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 583,964 cases, 15,405 deaths

Cass County

Cass County GOP censures Congressman Fred Upton for vote against Marjorie Taylor Greene

Cass County

Cass County Veterans Affairs provides update to community

Business

Market Van Buren, MEDC announce formal partnership

Cassopolis

Cassopolis woman arrested for Dowagiac car theft

News

Niles Restaurant Week to host photo contest

Dowagiac

SMC plans to host in-person, outdoor graduation ceremonies

News

Niles PD to get body-worn cameras for each officer

Cass County

Cass County COA to reopen fitness center, select programs March 1

Berrien County

MSP Niles troopers arrest man who set own residence on fire

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Cass counties reports new COVID-19 deaths

Buchanan

YMCA of Greater Michiana to host second annual Day of Giving

Buchanan

Buchanan selects new city treasurer

News

Niles City Council approves expansion of local provisioning center to include grow, processing

Dowagiac

Dowagiac awarded $75,000 in NEP grants

Dowagiac

SMC Guarantee aims to provide financial support to students of all ages

Berrien County

BCF awarded $60,000 grant to combat drug overdose epidemic

Berrien County

During virtual learning, students experiencing homelessness can fall through the cracks

Cass County

Children injured in Howard Township crash

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department postpones COVID-19 vaccine appointments Tuesday due to nationwide shipment delays

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 581,403 cases, 15,362 deaths

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Area FCU provides remote financial literacy learning resources to local schools

Dowagiac

Newly-minted DUS board trustee Brent Brewer ready to serve district