FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES - October 12, 2021
We, the members of the Equitas Health Board of Trustees, are deeply troubled and disturbed by the claims of racism and racial discrimination raised by a number of current and former employees of Equitas Health. As members of the Board, we understand the urgency of this matter as we determine the best way to move the organization forward, and how to ensure that the organization meets its mission to provide care for all. We believe there is a need for a thorough investigation into the numerous allegations of racism and racial discrimination at Equitas Health. To that end, the Board is engaging with and supervising an independent investigator who will conduct a thorough, impartial internal investigation into the culture at Equitas Health. We will also be taking steps in the immediate future to ensure the employees at Equitas Health have an avenue to safely bring information to the board before and during this investigative process. Again, we understand the urgency of this call for accountability and take our responsibility for this matter seriously. The Board will take appropriate action based on the findings of this internal investigation, and with humility, we ask for grace as we take this opportunity to address these concerns and earn the trust of our staff, our clients, and our communities.
Equitas Health Board of Trustees:
Adam Bennett, Esq.
James Ferguson II, Esq.
Sam Rinehart, CFP, CLU, APMA
Brent Scherz, MBA
Evan Steffens, RN, MS, CS
Philip Stowers, MA
Tom Whelley II, Esq.
PUBLIC STATEMENT - October 7, 2021
This week, the Columbus Dispatch published an article reflecting experiences of former and current staff of Equitas Health. Those of us who work here know that our growth and evolution has been challenging. We cannot – and will not – ignore the historical and current impact that our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) stakeholders are feeling.
To that end, Equitas Health acknowledges the impact white supremacy culture and structural racism has on the BIPOC community, members of historically minoritized communities in America and in the workplace. Equitas Health acknowledges the exclusion of BIPOC people from the greater LGBTQ+ community. Equitas Health apologizes for any role we had in perpetuating such.
The BIPOC community deserves more, and we are unequivocally committed to doing more. We appreciate the strength and courage it took for the community and our employees to call us in, while challenging the organization to do better.
Effective as of this communication, we will be posting a position for a Chief People & Culture Officer. This executive-level role will oversee culture, human resources, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. This role is one of the many next steps in our journey to become a more anti-racist organization.
To further demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, Equitas Health is undertaking the following actions with a strategy including implementation timelines, responsible employees/parties, and target dates:
- Diversity & Inclusion strategic plan to address racial disparities, which is also incorporated in the organization’s strategic plan;
- Engagement in Transformative Justice and Restorative Justice efforts in the community;
- Commitment to staff representation that reflects the communities we serve;
- Resource allocation for Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion departments;
- Transparency with staff and stakeholders regarding progress toward becoming an anti-racist organization;
- Board diversification;
- Equity compensation audit.
We are hopeful about the future of the organization as we continue to grow and expand our services. To learn more about our Diversity & Inclusion activities, please visit: Diversity and Inclusion - Equitas Health.
President & CEO