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Black lives matter - a message to the community

The recent and tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd have had a tremendous impact on many of us, and I know we are all working to process what these events mean for our communities, our country, and our future. These deaths may make us feel angry, helpless, disenfranchised, and even hopeless. These events also further clarify the mission that CareOregon must continue to fulfill.

CareOregon was founded by the community, for the community. For more than 25 years, we have worked to address the systemic barriers that prevent underserved populations from the health, happiness and fairness that we believe each human being should be able to reasonably and fairly access.

We know that health care cannot solve every societal ill, but at CareOregon we believe that it is our duty to do everything we can to improve the lives of our members and those in our community facing challenges that prevent them from leading healthy, self-directed lives. To adequately address the social health issues that continue to negatively impact the population that we serve, CareOregon will continue to support our communities in innovative ways not normally associated with traditional health care plans.

We fulfill our mission when we are aligned with and responsive to the needs of the community. Sometimes that means acting as a safety net for those whom may fall through the cracks; other times this may mean repairing the fabric that keeps communities united and healthy. Our work and dedication to this mission is more important now than it has ever been.

Moving forward, CareOregon will fulfill our mission through unconditional support of community justice through access to opportunity. We will continue to support those who do not have the loudest voice or even a seat at the table. We will continue to fight to remove the obstacles that prevent all Oregonians from having the support they need to carry on, to prosper, to grow.

While we grieve the current events that have caused pain and public outrage throughout our country, I find solace in the fact that CareOregon will continue to work alongside the community in our unified fight against injustice and unequal opportunity.

We will continue our work to increase access to health care providers of color. We will continue to connect with communities of color to better respond to persistent concerns of biased treatment within the health care system.  We will be a resource and connector to those in need or in search of more information about how to combat the discrimination that many people feel every day.

We condemn racism. We condemn the structural and institutional biases that have created a landscape that is rife with, and continues to support, acts of discrimination. We condemn and will work to dismantle the systems that have created and perpetuated an unjust and unequal society—robbing so many of our neighbors of their basic rights and opportunity to flourish.

We will do this because it is who we are and why we are here. And in these challenging times, we know that we have more work to do.

To learn more about our Equity Diversity and Inclusion program, please go here:  CareOregon Equity, Diversity and Inclusion