FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON — We thank the Biden administration for its discretionary budget request to invest in ending racial and ethnic health disparities and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiatives to confront racism as a serious public health threat.
We applaud CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s clear statement on systemic racism as a serious public health threat and her commitment to devoting more resources toward easing the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on communities of color. Pervasive racial and ethnic inequities are plainly evident in the unconscionable rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths among Blacks, Latinos, and other underrepresented people. It is vitally important to understand and close these gaps now — and before the next public health crisis.
We also welcome provisions in the administration’s fiscal year 2022 discretionary budget request that call for investments directed at social determinants of health, such as housing stability and climate, and mitigating health disparities, including those related to maternal health. Such investments are critical to the communities essential hospitals serve. We encourage the administration to seek additional investments under its full budget proposal to reduce disparities and strengthen the health care safety net, including through Medicaid and Medicare.
Essential hospitals stand on the front lines of combating structural racism as a public health threat. Through training, programs, and partnerships in communities, these hospitals work to remove barriers to equitable health outcomes across all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Together, we are committed to building a just society by eliminating structural racism and bias in health care and overcoming the social determinants of health that prevent people and our nation from moving forward.
Health care professionals and systems must confront structural racism as an urgent threat to the health and well-being of all people. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to create a healthier and more equitable country.
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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at essentialhospitals.org.