Solidarity. Statement on Racism and Public Health
June 8, 2020
For almost 50 years, Packard Health has stood with the most vulnerable residents of our community across all racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic lines. Packard Health, like the public at large, is appalled by the murder of George Floyd, and it stands today with Black people everywhere who are suffering disproportionately from deeply rooted systemic racism. We stand today with our colleagues and patients of color and with those who declare that racism is a public health crisis.
The pandemic has disproportionately affected Black communities across the country. It has laid bare festering health inequalities. As of June 2, 2020, 41% of hospitalized COVID-19 cases and 30% of COVID-19 deaths in Washtenaw County were among Black residents, though they comprise just 12% of the county’s total population. Fifty percent of cases in Washtenaw County have been among residents of 48197 and 48198 zip codes, zip codes with predominantly Black residents. In 2019, 40% of Packard’s 11,800 patients were living in one of those two zip codes.
Packard Health’s doors have always been – and always will be – open to everyone.
Packard Health vows to continue to work consciously, with urgency, and in partnership and union with others to find local solutions to health disparities, thus affirming that Black Lives Matter.
Packard’s core values include justice, diversity, and humanity. We believe in a fundamental and unshaken conviction that health care is a human right, and that all people are entitled to resources to maintain and support health. We are enriched by and supportive of the diversity among our patients, staff, board, and other volunteers, and we will draw on diversity’s great reservoir of strength as we continue to affect change in our community.
Raymond Rion, MD
Executive Director, Packard Health