At Corewell Health, we made a promise to improve health and health equity. To fulfill this promise, we must acknowledge that systemic and structural racism1 exists and that it harms the health and well-being of the communities we serve. We must acknowledge that achieving health equity means tackling racism, which requires remedies based on honest reflection, authentic collaboration and hard work. And, we must acknowledge that addressing racism compels us to think and act in ways that will stretch and challenge us.
Improving health equity will require investments ranging from financial, human, technological and other resources. It will require a long-term and sustained commitment to eliminating systemic racism. It will require an accountability system with clear performance metrics to ensure progress toward our goals. And it will require that we live our values by exhibiting compassion through deep caring; authentic collaboration with existing and new partners; curiosity and courage as we navigate new, unfamiliar and, at times, uncomfortable territory; and clarity in our purpose, intent and impact. With this pledge, we will achieve our promise to improve health and health equity; our mission to improve health, instill humanity and inspire hope; and our vision of a future where health is simple, affordable, equitable and exceptional.
1 Systemic racism and structural racism are often used interchangeably, but they are somewhat different. Systemic racism refers to racism that is embodied in, endemic to and/or riddled through entire systems, such as our political, legal, economic, health care, school and criminal justice systems. Structural racism emphasizes the structures or scaffolding that is hardwired into and upholds the systems, such as laws, policies, institutional practices and entrenched norms. In this document, when we refer to racism, we are referring to both systemic and structural forms of racism.