February 10, 2022

Black History Month: Transforming Talk into Action

February 10, 2022

From Celebrations and Commitments to Action: Addressing Health Inequities Across Cooley Dickinson Health Care

February marks the celebration of Black History Month, a month of celebrating and honoring achievements of black individuals across the U.S. This year’s theme, Black Health & Wellness, could not be more relevant to our Cooley Dickinson community as we work across disciplines and departments to improve the health and wellness of black patients and community members, while simultaneously strengthening the health and wellbeing of our workforce and governance through activities designed to increase diversity and inclusion.

During Black history month we typically recall struggles for freedom, equality, and justice as we celebrate achievements of Black individuals and groups throughout history.  Last year Cooley made a commitment to not only highlight struggles and celebrate achievements but to take action and to make our own history.

In alignment with the Mass General Brigham United Against Racism work and under the guidance of the Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Council, over the past year Cooley Dickinson:

  • Set an organization-wide priority and set specific goals to reduce racial inequities in our workforce and leadership, in patient care, and in communities of color
  • Offered over a dozen training and engagement opportunities to over 500 employees
  • Worked to eliminate bias and racism in hiring and promotion, and created career ladders to advancement for BIPOC staff and others
  • Reviewed dozens of clinical polices with a racial equity lens and revised as needed
  • Launched our work in reducing health inequities based on race/ethnicity, by 1) improving the accuracy of in-patient demographic data, and 2) screening for social determinants of health in CDMG to identify avoidable and preventable health disparities
  • Supported members of our Black, Latinx, and Asian communities impacted by the COVID pandemic through our mobile health work on the Community Care Van

We are proud of our progress, and we are also humbled to recognize that there is more work to be done to improve the health and wellness of BIPOC people and others in our community who are impacted by structural inequities based on gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, and more.  More work to do throughout the month of February and every month thereafter.