Dear Wellpath Colleagues —
I remember as a young man working for a gentleman who repaired HVAC systems. We were driving back from a day’s work in south Florida and there was someone without a shirt, jogging along the side of the road. My colleague said, “that’s illegal, you can’t exercise without a shirt.” I said, no it’s not — I play hoops without a shirt all the time. He looked at me and said, “I was stopped jogging just last week; the difference, Jorge, is you’re not black.”
This year, on Juneteenth, we commemorate and celebrate the end of slavery, it is important to remember that the burden of systemic racism remains real. There are so many stories of hurt, heartache and much worse. There are also signs of hope and progress. Across the nation we’ve seen hundreds of peaceful demonstrations calling for social justice in virtually every single city in America. We’ve seen grief turn into a collective call for action. Now, it is up to all of us to keep that mission alive.
There are no shortages of challenges, from the need for sensible reforms in policing to addressing broader social challenges. At Wellpath we see clearly the lack of options so many people of color face when it comes to health care. For many of our patients, Wellpath doctors and nurses may be the first medical professionals they have ever seen. Our nation’s systemic challenges don’t end there. As we work to address these national issues we need to look inward, too. For me, it means working to ensure Wellpath’s workforce is diverse, that everyone’s voice is heard and that we treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of the color of our skin, our religious beliefs, gender, or our sexual orientation. We are a family. And there are things we can do better and we will strive to do that.
In the coming weeks our human resources department and operations leadership will begin a series of listening sessions to understand team members’ experiences and perspectives on how Wellpath can build a more inclusive workplace. Based on your voice, we will develop a plan for cultural sensitivity education and other best practices with respect to inclusion and diversity.
In our society justice has to be blind, all people should feel safe, and valued; not targeted. This is a time to consider where we are and where we strive to be. To truly honor this day, we work for a better and more just world through our thoughts and our actions.
To hope and healing,
Chief Executive Officer