June 8, 2020
Black Lives Matter Protest in Spokane, WA 5/31/2020

At CHAS Health, our work is guided by our mission and core values. Two of those core values that are particularly relevant now are Social Responsibility and Respect for Human Dignity.  We believe that Black Lives Matter. The recent and deplorable death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement is the latest example in a long history of racial injustice and discrimination in our country. 

As a community health center, we have endeavored to reduce health inequities in the communities we serve over the last 25 years.  We know that health inequities disproportionately impact people of color and people with lower incomes.  While we have worked hard to strengthen these particular threads of our social safety net by providing universal access to primary care services, we were not expansive enough in our objective.  Although we understood that the root causes of health inequity are inextricably linked to systemic issues that support racial and income inequality, we failed to call it what is – a public health crisis. 

We need to confront the fact that the underlying foundation of health equity will never be stable until issues of systemic racism, injustice and respect for human dignity are rectified.  Acknowledgement is step one of this journey.  Next steps include listening, taking action, and sustaining that action.  CHAS Health is committed to increasing our staff’s awareness and engagement in activities that promote racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.  CHAS Health is also committed to working with external partners in the communities we serve to build a new foundation that addresses the deficiencies of our criminal justice system and law enforcement, to promote income equality, equal opportunity, and health equity. 

CHAS Health makes this commitment to the black community, communities of color, and to all the communities we serve.

Aaron Wilson, CEO