Our vision at Health Net of West Michigan is: “Creating a community where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.” Throughout the past few weeks, there have been significant challenges to that vision amplifying the need for us to continue to work toward achieving racial justice and dismantling oppressive systems to ensure health equity. We have been informed of threats to public education access, diversity, equity and inclusion training, investigations surrounding forced sterilizations of migrant women, and the egregious lack of police accountability in communities across the country. For these reasons and more, we cannot remain silent, and thus complicit, about the adverse health implications these events continue to have on our nation and our community.
We cannot move health equity forward without the support of our community. We call on our friends, family members, partners, and those in public service to invest in our health, wellbeing, and safety by honoring statements made in support of social justice. We call on others to take actionable steps by amplifying the voices of leaders of color, encouraging our neighbors to vote, contacting local, state, and national leaders about the topics that they are passionate about, and engaging in support of changes in policies. Each of us can participate in localized efforts to influence community planning efforts like focus groups, community listening sessions, community-wide surveys and engaging in groups focused on social justice.
We affirm to our staff and our community that we believe EVERYONE has the right to be healthy and that EVERYONE includes all who live in our service area, especially those who have been historically marginalized and targeted due to race, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and country of origin. We affirm that no person is illegal and that Black Lives Matter. We practice this by valuing the personhood, dignity and worth of all our neighbors, partners and employees. We are committed to upholding these tenets despite the world around us. We stand as your partner in health and humanity and will continue to serve and fight alongside our neighbors in community.