The recent tragic events that unfolded nationally, across Ohio and in our local community are concerning to all of us.
Well-intended and appropriate peaceful demonstrations escalated to violence and law enforcement action. Unfortunately, lawful conduct by the vast majority of protestors was overshadowed by the unlawful actions of those with personal self-interest.
We should not let the unlawful actions of a few individuals distract us as a community from advancing our efforts to reduce health inequities and disparities in health outcomes. Our collective actions are aimed at ensuring that all population groups in Montgomery County have equal opportunity for health and well-being. It is one of our agency’s guiding principles.
The Board of Health has declared racism and discrimination as a public health crisis, and as such, the board resolves to take the following actions:
- Assert that racism and discrimination are a public health crisis affecting our entire society/community
- Adopt internal policies and procedures to ensure racial equity and nondiscrimination are core elements of Public Health
- Enhance diversity and inclusion efforts and incorporate antiracism and nondiscrimination principles across its workforce and in leadership positions
- Incorporate inclusion and equity into organizational practice, offer educational trainings/activities to expand employees’ understanding of how racism and discrimination affect individuals, the health of marginalized populations, and provide tools to assist employees to engage actively and authentically with minority communities and other marginalized populations
- Advocate for policies that improve health in minority communities, and support local, state, and federal initiatives that advance social justice, while also encouraging individual employee advocacy to dismantle systemic racism and combat discrimination
- Work with our local public health system partners to confront racism and discrimination through collective impact; and encourage other local, state, and national entities to recognize racism and discrimination as a public health crisis.
On December 2019 our Board of Health passed a resolution adopting a Health Equity in All Policies (HEiAP) approach to improve population health. We have made the commitment to examine our policies, programs and services through an “equity lens” and will challenge other organizations to do the same. Obviously, the shifting of resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed our community’s collective impact approach on HEiAP.
Please know that applying an “equity lens” will become an integral part of our organizational culture, including the implementation of our Community Health Improvement Plan, the development of our next agency Strategic Plan, and the advancement of our Policy and Advocacy Agenda.
We here at Public Health do this to help ensure Montgomery County is a healthy, safe and thriving community.