Institutional racism is a public health crisis that demands attention. At PHMC, we are committed to doing more to encourage diversity, achieve equity and foster an environment of inclusion. Through our collective diverse public health work, we have an opportunity to contribute to systemic change and redouble our efforts to bridge divides. For nearly 50 years, PHMC has had a single mission: to create and sustain healthier communities. Our mission is only achieved when there is equity for all.

PHMC is developing a formal, institutional and sustainable Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plan that supports our employees and creates greater opportunity for the communities we serve, now and into the future.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Creation of a DEI Governing Council and employee workgroups to inform our path forward
  • Partnering with external consultants to guide this work
  • Launching a new Supplier Diversity Program to guide the procurement and partnership process
  • Reviewing policies and salary scales, launching new employee trainings and creating stronger pathways to advancement and leadership for people of color

In addition, the Public Health Fund, PHMC’s grantmaking foundation, approved a two-year grant to invest in racial equity and justice. Year one of this grant will be equally distributed across the following organizations:

  • Black Lives Matter Philly – the local chapter of the Black Lives Matter Foundation, which is a global organization that advocates for self-determination for communities and an end to racism.
  • Philadelphia OIC – a local organization advancing opportunities for all members of the community through skill building and job and career advancement.
  • Philadelphia Urban League – a local affiliate dedicated to empowering African Americans and other underserved people to secure self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region – our region’s Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter working to strengthen the quality of mentoring to ignite the power and promise of youth.
  • Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium (BDCC) – a local not for profit organization created and led by Black doctors and medical staff dedicated to barrier-free mobile testing for Philadelphia communities hardest hit by coronavirus.
  • Public Health Management Corporation to establish a dedicated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund to support our ongoing work in this area.

At a time when so many are suffering in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tangible and painful reality of institutional racism as a public health crisis weighs on us heavily. It also reminds us how critically important our work is. As an organization focused on public health, equity and justice, we must work together as one PHMC community to help, support and heal.