A Message to the Community from BayCare CEO Tommy Inzina
Human dignity is at the core of BayCare Health System and its mission to improve the community’s health. Each day we strive to treat every patient with dignity, regardless of color, religion, gender or other differences. We also know that those differences, however, can impact individuals’ health. People of color across our nation, and here locally, face an additional threat to their health: Racism.
The violent death of George Floyd while being held down by a Minneapolis Police officer, coming on the heels of so many other unnecessary deaths of black Americans, has reminded us anew the cost of racism. But lesser understood is how racism also undercuts the health of our black and brown neighbors every day. Stress caused by systemic racism can lead to chronic conditions and early deaths in less violent ways. And we have also seen during this pandemic how a health crisis can prove more devastating in communities of color.
We need to do more and better. BayCare believes in human dignity for everyone, but we also know that belief alone won’t fix racism and that there is much more work to be done. Improving our community’s health will require all of us, institutions and individuals, working together to address racism and dismantle it. We pledge to work to serve and respect all and help move our country forward to a more just society.