We stand with the Black Community and we remain outraged at recent events and the ongoing systemic violence and racism against Black people in this country. The system we live in, here in the United States and also globally, is inherently biased against people of color. Over hundreds of years, our society has evolved to a place where Black people are more likely to die young of a chronic disease, are less likely to secure venture capital for a startup, are more likely to be incarcerated, and are more likely to be killed by a police officer.
Racism extends beyond the justice system, and into every system in our country, including the system Validic primarily services, the healthcare system. In the United States:
- Black women are 2 to 6 times more likely to die from complications of pregnancy than white women;
- Black Americans have a lower life expectancy than any other population;
- Black and Latinx persons experience 30 to 40 percent poorer health outcomes than white Americans;
- Black Americans are systematically undertreated for pain relative to white Americans;
- Black and Latinx people are more likely to receive care in nonoptimal organizational settings (such as emergency rooms) and lack continuity in health care services;
- COVID-19 mortality rates are higher for people of color – COVID-19 kills 50.3 Black people per 100,000 people, compared with 20.7 for whites, 22.9 for Latinos and 22.7 for Asian Americans.
As a company, we’ve taken time over the past few weeks to listen, learn, and reflect on the ways we need to improve. We are challenging ourselves and having important conversations at the leadership and company-levels to formalize a plan of action. We stand with Black communities – and all communities of color. As a starting point, here are the ways that we will immediately take action:
Addressing Healthcare Practice and Policy
To help address inequities in the healthcare industry, we will work with Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHCs) to offer our COVID-19 Home Monitoring solution for free. Black people in America are dying at higher rates from COVID-19, and these underfunded centers offer services that are disproportionately used by black and Latinx communities. If you represent an FQHC and would like more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, expect outreach from us soon.
We will work with federal agencies to advocate for policy changes and grants to address social and racial disparities within health care. If the Office for Civil Rights and CMS can move quickly with action in response to a virus pandemic, swift action can also be taken to address inequities in public health and health care. We will work with industry groups, like Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and eHealth Initiative (eHi), and ask them to join us in this mission to drive greater inclusivity and equity in healthcare.
Supporting Our Community
We believe that it is important to give back to our community. We will ensure employees can vote, and volunteer, on election days by making the day a company holiday. We are encouraging team members to spend their time doing meaningful service acts through volunteer service days. And, we will be evaluating our budget on company-wide events to ensure our vendors share these values and represent the diversity of our community.
Creating An Equitable Culture
Regardless of intentions or current and past efforts, we have not done enough to address diversity and representation in our company. We will address the racial homogeneity in our company and in our leadership team, and ensure we are continually fostering an inclusive culture. While we have frozen hiring due to current circumstances, when we begin adding new roles, we will prioritize diversity at every level and in every role.
This is a start. We are voicing our commitment and holding ourselves accountable to taking anti-racism actions. When even one of us is oppressed, we are all oppressed.
Our mission at Validic is “to improve the quality of human life by building technology that makes personal data actionable.” Everything we do begins with improving the quality of human life, and Black Lives Matter.
Drew Schiller, CEO
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