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Children’s Minnesota joins 29 companies in commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

Children’s Minnesota recently joined together with 29 other health service providers and health care stakeholders throughout Minnesota to pledge to eliminate systemic racism and its negative impact on health and well-being.

“At Children’s Minnesota, we’ve long recognized the dangerous effect systemic racism has on the health and well-being of children,” said Marc Gorelick, MD, president and CEO. “Our organization will continue to take a stand toward improving diversity, equity and inclusion for those we serve, now with additional support and commitment from our peers and colleagues across the state. Together, we will continue to conquer these deeply entrenched structural inequities and make Minnesota an even healthier place to live and raise a family, for all.”

With the recognition that eliminating racial disparities is essential to fulfill our collective mission to care for ALL in the most impactful way, our on-going commitment to address racial disparities and inequities is based upon the following principles.

Family walking into Children's Minnesota with masks on.

In recognizing our roles as providers of care, employers, purchasers, and community partners, these 30 health care organizations together commit to:

  • Re-examine our organizational policies with an equity lens and make any policy changes needed to promote equity and opportunity.
  • Seek to understand different perspectives, experiences and appropriately adapt our behaviors to improve culturally responsive care.
  • Work to eliminate decisions that negatively impact underrepresented and underserved groups.
  • Improve access to and consumer experience for all needed care services- primary, specialty care, and hospital care.
  • Partner with policymakers, employers, and community advocates to remove the economic barriers to health equity.
  • Continue to build pathways that support our patients in addressing their health-related social needs and provide connections to community resources.
  • Renew and expand our organizations’ commitment to providing anti-racism and implicit bias training for all leaders and staff.
  • Advocate for increased funding for social needs, social services and programs that promote social justice.
  • Advocate for investments that create innovative solutions to achieve enduring improvements in access, quality and health outcomes for the communities we serve.
  • Promote the inclusion of businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, people of color and other underrepresented and underserved people when purchasing goods or services.
  • Review any investment portfolio, assuring that we are invested in funds which align to our equity principles and values.
  • Commit to hiring locally and promoting Black, Indigenous, people of color and other underrepresented and underserved people into leadership roles. We commit to be employers that hire, develop, retain and support a diverse workforce.

While each organization will continue to advance its own initiatives and efforts, the principles of the joint commitment are designed to demonstrate to the communities we serve our collective commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; create an impetus for critical conversations about the role of the health care system in addressing racial inequities and create an additional mechanism to hold ourselves accountable by sharing our commitments publicly.

“We recognize that humility, openness and determination will be required for long-lasting progress,” said Dr. Claire Neely, President and CEO of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). “Part of what makes the Minnesota health care sector so special is our culture of collaboration and demonstrated ability to achieve progress on issues of critical importance to the communities we serve.”

The 30 organizations who have adopted the guiding principles and committed to addressing racial disparities and inequities are: Allina Health, Allina Health Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, CentraCare, Children’s Minnesota, CCM Health, Entira, Essentia Health, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, HealthPartners, Hennepin Healthcare, Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI), Medica, M Health Fairview, Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers, Minnesota Community Care, Minnesota Medical Association, MN Council of Health Plans, Minnesota Community Measurement, Natalis Counseling & Psychology Solutions, North Memorial Health, Nura Precision Pain Clinic, Planned Parenthood, Portico Healthnet, PrairieCare, PreferredOne, Southside Community Health Services, Stratis, UCare and University of Minnesota Physicians.

Alexandra Rothstein