Our Time in History
The following is a communication sent to all Adventist HealthCare Team Members.
There are moments in history that stand out clearly to those looking back on the events that have shaped our country. Without a doubt, this is one of those moments. The enslavement, disenfranchisement, and incarceration of Black Americans is a horrific part of our historic and contemporary American story. And the events of the last few weeks remind us that despite the work of civil rights leaders and champions who came before us, systemic discrimination, prejudice and bias across societies and institutions persist.
Those are deeply sad moments of realization.
And yet, there are also hopeful moments. Moments in which we realize that more needs to be done. Moments in which together we are called to continue the fight for equity, diversity and inclusion. Moments in which we realize that this is our time in history. Our time to acknowledge. Our time to affirm. Our time to act.
The Adventist HealthCare family acknowledges the history of pain, anguish and outrage felt among members of our Black community because of racism. We acknowledge the injustice of police brutality against Black men and women, and the violent, disproportionate and tragic loss of Black lives in our communities. We recognize the evil of racism that permeates our society’s structures and institutions, including how racial disparities that have always existed have been more clearly illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We acknowledge the need for continued and renewed action to address racism, including engaging with and supporting marginalized communities, coaching and training leaders, and changing systems especially within our diverse organization with a Mission of service and healing.
We boldly acknowledge that Black lives matter.
The Adventist HealthCare family affirms that all people, including our team members across our system have the right to feel safe and protected. We affirm that they have the right to be heard and to be engaged in constructive dialogue. And we affirm that our team members belong to and are cared for by our organization.
Most importantly, the Adventist HealthCare family commits to act. We commit to listening actively to understand the depth of emotions and experiences of members of our Black community who are still processing the brutal murder of George Floyd and countless others. We commit to learning and listening to what our team members—especially Black leaders and staff—need by creating space to identify and understand their collective trauma and take meaningful action.
We commit to identifying and addressing racism affecting all people, particularly against Blacks and African Americans, and reducing bias within our healthcare system, in line with our faith-based values. We respect the infinite worth of every individual no matter their race or skin color.
We commit to communicating openly with our colleagues about ways to advance racial equity, with guidance and insights from trained and experienced leaders. We commit to educating ourselves about systemic racism in our society and in our organization, and to provide racial equity training led by recognized experts. We commit to partnering with and supporting community organizations dedicated to reducing health disparities and fighting racial injustice.
And finally, we commit to speak out directly against racism and discrimination.
This is our time in history, and together we will rise to meet it.
Terry Forde, President & Chief Executive Officer
Daniel Cochran, President, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center
Marilyn Lynk, Executive Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Marta Brito Perez, Senior Vice President, Population Health & Post-Acute Care Services
Brent Reitz, President, Post-Acute Care
Eunmee Shim, President, Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center and President, Ambulatory Networks
Anthony Stahl, President, Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center