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DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION: OUR WORK DOESN’T STOP!

Original Article By Tunde Sotunde via Blue Cross NC

We know racism and discrimination lead to health disparities and impact the health and safety of our employees, members and communities. Health inequity impacts all North Carolinians. North Carolina is consistently in the lower percentile of state health rankings. *Data shows our state’s health system ranked #36 of 50 states and #46 of 50 states for disparities. Think about that – #46 of 50 states. To ensure healthy communities for generations to come, we must work to transition from the bottom quartile to the top quartile.

At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), we cannot fulfill our mission to improve the health and well-being of our customers and communities without explicitly addressing disparities and health inequities. While we’ve laid groundwork as a company on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts for more than a decade, our work does not stop.

Like many companies, this summer we released a message standing against racism. We commissioned an internal task force to think about what Blue Cross NC should and can be doing for:

1) our employees,

2) our members and

3) our communities to address DEI.

The aim – Be Bold! We’ve reimagined our internal diversity council to drive DEI recommendations and ideate across our company.

I’m incredibly proud of the DEI commitment and accountability that we (Blue Cross NC) continue to hold dear. DEI ills are structural and systemic. They cannot be addressed easily or quickly.

We will continue to move forward to address equity internally, with our members, and the communities we serve across North Carolina. Yes, this is a marathon. Most importantly, this is a collective call to action. The data is clear – lack of diversity, equity and inclusion affects all North Carolinians. Let’s stand together to address DEI issues!

Diversity, equity and inclusion work is paramount to all North Carolinians. It will take a coalition of the willing statewide, nationwide to be a catalyst for change. Together, we will progress towards positive change and prevail.

To learn more about our DEI commitments, check out: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | Blue Cross NC

Commonwealth Fund: 2020 Scorecard on State Health System Performance

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