Dear VitalTalk Community,
 
The events of this weekend have been yet another painful reminder of how much work we have to create an inclusive society. While we have been long-time advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion and have seen some change, we are jolted back to reality with the horrible murder of George Floyd, along with the countless racial inequities that persist.
 
This is a painful time. It has been a time of isolation and togetherness, fear and inspiration, anger and hope.
 
It is also a time for every person, in every organization, to prioritize their work around equity and inclusion. VitalTalk strives to be a progressive and innovative organization who embraces and encourages differences amongst all we serve. We stand in solidarity with the movement against systemic racism and oppression and are consciously working toward change.
 
We have work to do. When we look internally, we recognize we have an all-white, primarily female staff. When we look externally, we recognize there exists a vast gap in equitable healthcare, depending on a person’s race, education, background and socio-economic status. Our vision is that every seriously ill patient will be surrounded by clinicians who can discuss what matters most and match care to values. We have a responsibility to integrate diversity into all the things we do – from whom we train… to for whom we provide training.

Change takes time, but to accelerate it, we must take proactive, concrete steps every day to make a difference. We are sharing what steps we are taking below, along with suggestions of what you can do as well. Please feel free to post your comments on our blog, social media or via email to add to this dialogue.
 
What we are doing:

  • Creating equity & inclusion committee with responsibility to raise awareness, educate staff and faculty.
  • Improving practices, policies and tracking around talent hiring and development.
  • Tracking course participant registration and setting goals for inclusion.
  • Incorporating diverse case studies into our curriculum to accurately reflect patient populations.
  • Actively recruiting diverse board members.
  • Collaborating with grantors to work on equity in health issues.
  • Improving the organization’s transparency across all functions.
  • Seeking funding and donations to support diversity and inclusion efforts. 

What you can do:

  • Use your voice. As Desmond Tutu once said, “If you are neutral in the situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
  • Donate to a reputable, charitable, 501c(3) organization.
  • Read a book from the Anti-racist reading list from Ibram X Kendi   https://seattle.bibliocommons.com/list/share/73000360/1423892517
  • Actively participate in diversity, equity & inclusion efforts at your workplace. 

Thank you,
The VitalTalk Team

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