LIMA — Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center on Thursday joined with 22 health systems in the Catholic Health Association (CHA) to prioritize equity in its COVID-19 response and confront systemic racism in health care.
The initiative, Confronting Racism by Achieving Health Equity, pledges to advocate for equitable distribution and access to COVID-19 testing, vaccines and new treatments, as well as reevaluate the way participating health care systems operate so that recruitment, hiring, promotion and retention standards are more equitable.
The pledge also calls on participating health networks to delivery culturally competent health care and improve their relationships with minority communities, in part by opposing public policies that perpetuate iniquities.
“At the core of who we are as a health system and ministry is caring for those who need it most,” Mercy Health – Lima President Ronda Lehman said in a statement about the pledge. “With a focus on expanding access to care, investing in our community and addressing risk factors that fosters health and well-being throughout Lima, the time for health equity is now.”