A statement from TN HIMSS
There have been too many recent events highlighting inequality, injustice, and racial inequities.
Unfortunately, these recent events are not isolated incidents. Far too frequently, these senseless, tragic events are rooted in racial injustice and inequality. The time for change is now and starts with us.
The Tennessee Chapter of HIMSS, as well as HIMSS National, firmly stand against all forms of racial bias, injustice, and inequality.
As a mission-driven member association, dedicated to transforming health and healthcare, through the utilization of information and technology, we have a responsibility to reject all forms of prejudice and address the inequities people face every day. We owe it to our members, our sponsors, our Ambassadors, our communities, and ourselves to take a very clear stance and condemn these acts of violence, which represent a blatant disregard for basic human rights. We must stand up for all individuals regardless of gender, race, creed, or national origin.
Race is a significant determinant of health, with long-standing disparities related to access to health services and less than satisfactory health outcomes. Information relative to COVID-19 continues to unfold as the virus impacts communities across our state and county. Recent research has indicated that while only one in five counties is disproportionately black, these counties have accounted for nearly half of the COVID-19 cases and 58% of COVID-19 deaths. Due to historic, systemic poverty and other social determinants of health, many of the most vulnerable live and are considered “essential workers” in communities where housing puts residents at additional risks.
In a 2019 study “Reducing Racial Inequities in Health: Using What We Already Know to Take Action” (study authors from Harvard and Johns Hopkins) noted a report from the National Academy of Medicine, as follows:
“Across virtually every type of therapeutic intervention in the U.S., ranging from high-technology procedures to the most basic forms of diagnostic and treatment interventions, blacks and other minorities receive fewer procedures and poorer quality medical care than whites.”
The Leadership Team of the Tennessee Chapters of HIMSS has resolved to take immediate action relative to these inequities and announces the following steps:
- Immediate formation of a new Committee, with responsibility of addressing diversity and inclusion among our Members, Committees, Board of Directors and Ambassadors. We are pleased to announce Josh Scales, a current Chapter Ambassador, will be leading this Committee.
- Funding of two scholarships, Fall Semester of 2020, and Spring Semester of 2021, to be awarded to minority students, to the TN HIMSS HIT Accelerator program.
- A pledge to ensure consistent values relative to ending discrimination and injustice, where they exist, among our Chapter sponsors and Community partners
- Dedicating an event to focus on solutions associated with solving racial inequities in access to care and health outcomes in FY 2021.
The Tennessee HIMSS Chapter continues to be a leader in healthcare technology education, networking events, thought leadership and collaborative community relationships. We are committed to improving our understanding of racial discrimination and providing real solutions representative of our unique culture.