As we attempt to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneously battle the effects of racism, the Gold Corporate Council (GCC) is committed to leading the way toward a more just healthcare system. Together, the Council has vowed to actively support humanistic care through shared goals for 2021 and beyond.
The Council comprises eight leading healthcare companies – BD, Henry Schein, Inc., IBM Watson Health, Medtronic, Quest Diagnostics, CVS Health, Siemens Healthineers, and Teladoc Health. All have made impactful contributions in 2020 and 2021 to advance humanism in healthcare, which is defined by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation as compassionate, collaborative, scientifically excellent care – care that excludes no one and respects all people.
The mission of the Gold Corporate Council and of the nonprofit Gold Foundation, which created the Council in 2017, is humanism in healthcare. Racism and discrimination against any group have no place in healthcare.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and intensified health disparities. At the same time, the world continues to confront the social injustices experienced by people of color. The mental health impacts of the pandemic, racial injustice, and everyday microaggressions are visible in the healthcare environment, and our world in countless ways.
These global health issues highlight the importance of humanism – and the disproportionate burden on people of color that must be remedied. We encourage you to investigate ways to help reverse these long-standing disparities that harm so many and threaten both physical and mental health, especially for people of color.
As leaders of humanism in healthcare, GCC member companies pledge to play an active role in the change needed, understanding it is not just a goal but a journey. To that end, the GCC and its member companies have committed to:
- Create mechanisms that support employees with safe channels to raise concerns of racism or bias
- Work to build robust and fair systems and processes to address reported concerns of racism or bias
- Explore how to create and maintain a safe, inclusive, supportive, humanistic employee culture
- Hire and promote leaders and employees of diverse backgrounds and demographics
- Educate employees about eliminating bias
In addition, the Gold Corporate Council is exploring collaborations focused on systemic change:
- Developing and funding a Gold scholarship/fellowship initiative to help address unequal representation in the healthcare professions
- Creating Gold Human InSight Webinars around such timely topics as disparities of health, social determinants of health, mental health issues, moral resilience, systemic racism, and generational trauma.
- Sharing powerful examples, in a forthcoming blog series, of how supporting equality and inclusion are woven into each Gold Corporate Council member’s impact on the healthcare system, a series that will knit together a tapestry of voices.
The Gold Corporate Council and the Gold Foundation realize that action, not just words, is critical to fulfilling their mission. To that end, healthcare companies and leaders are urged to join us in this critical mission and help design a healthier and more just world – one that truly embodies humanism for all.
A forthcoming article will include specific recent examples of humanism in action by GCC members.
Artwork credit: David Orner