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Statement on the Killing of George Floyd and the Issue of Racial Justice in Our Communities

The killing of an unarmed black man by a Minneapolis police officer, an act that lasted nearly nine minutes and took place in the presence of three other officers, has rightly focused the conscience of our nation. We know the name of the man who was killed. His name was George Floyd. But over the course of our history, since the first slaves were brought to Jamestown in 1619, the names of the vast majority of those who perished as a result of racial violence remain unknown. We cannot allow this moment to pass without recommitting ourselves to equity and justice. None of us are less than equal. None of us are above the law.

Hospitals are places of healing. We are anchors of the communities we serve. And yet, we know that health outcomes for Black Americans and members of communities of color lag behind outcomes for Whites. We know that communities of color have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, in terms of infections and deaths. We cannot consider our mission as health care providers complete until we address these inequities and everyone reaches their highest potential for health. And we cannot do this unless we commit, all of us together, to fostering racial equity across all aspects of our society.

The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems and the 62 hospitals we represent are dedicated to actively combating racism in our communities. We stand on the side of health equity for all.

Joe Sluka
Chairman, Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
President and CEO, St. Charles Health System