Like many of you, I am troubled by the murder of George Floyd, and the disturbing pattern of inequity in our country. The images of his brutal suffocation are unbearable, and his death has affected all of us. I have heard that some of our own employees feel threatened and afraid, which deepens my concern.
During this time of unrest and uncertainty, I want all of you to know that I am personally committed to ensuring that Kettering Health Network is a safe place for everyone—regardless of color, race, gender, orientation, or faith—to receive medical treatment and the safest place for anyone to work. I want each of you to feel included, accepted, and valued.
Anything less would dishonor the foundational Christian principle from our Savior’s lips to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 12:31) and would be contrary to the Seventh-day Adventist faith tradition of gospel for “every nation, tribe, language, and people” (Revelation 14:6). These foundational scriptures inform Kettering Health Network’s mission “to improve the quality of life of the people in the communities we serve.”
I have asked Tim Dutton, executive vice president, and chief human resource officer, and Josefer Montes, chief inclusion officer, to examine our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives to ensure that we are striving toward best practices. Already, we are committing to implicit bias training, a new supplier diversity initiative, and options to update our paid time off policy to allow those who want to vote to do so. We are also committed to open dialogue around these critical issues. There will be more details about the network’s next steps in the coming weeks.
Finally, I recognize we all need to do better—starting with me. I am committed to actively listening, intentionally learning, and humbly growing in God’s grace. Over 100 years ago, one of the early founders of Seventh-day Adventist health care, Ellen G. White, wrote that “unity in diversity is God’s plan. Among the followers of Christ, there is to be the blending of diverse elements, one adapted to the other, and each to do its special work for God. Every individual has his [and her] place in the filling up of one great plan bearing the stamp of Christ’s image.”
My prayer is that all of us bear Christ’s image by advocating for each other’s wellbeing.