Health Plan of San Joaquin Values and Racial Equity - June 2020
While the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and American Public Health Association recognize racism as a public health issue, racism continues to have a negative impact on our global community. We are at a point that our country can no longer shy away from the generational inequities that plague Black Americans and are now the inspiration for nationwide demonstrations and protests. Adding to all of this are the greater numbers of deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic in Black and Brown communities. This timing is no coincidence. Living conditions, lower wage jobs, and access to care exacerbating pre-existing health conditions that contribute to higher death rates – these are real-time reflections of the effects of institutional racism. The pain is hurtful for Health Plan of San Joaquin, as a nonprofit, public benefit health plan. For more than 20 years, Health Plan of San Joaquin has continued to work on behalf of low-income children, their families, and the most vulnerable citizens of our community. Many of them have families from the communities being affected by today’s events and pandemic. At HPSJ, we live by seven values that drive each of us every day: Accountability; Dedication; Integrity; Stewardship; Teamwork; Community Collaboration; and equally, Diversity, “respect(ing) the uniqueness of individuals, their ideas, thoughts, and needs.” Our values make up the spirit that sustains our mission to “provide healthcare value and advance wellness through community partnerships.” HPSJ remains committed to our members, including working to expand choices for access to quality care from a diverse provider network. We pledge to strive to take care of each other here at HPSJ, with openness, collaboration, respect, and honesty. We promise to continue to listen and collaborate with the community we serve. While we are proud of the unique place of leadership we have earned in our community, at HPSJ we understand that honor comes with responsibility and accountability. As we navigate and work to understand these exceptionally difficult and chaotic times, HPSJ will rededicate ourselves to our founding vision to continuously improve the health of our community. Yet, we are clear that in order to fulfill this vision, racism must have no place in all our lives.