We have been shocked by the story out of Minneapolis regarding the killing of an unarmed black man. Today, everyone knows his name: George Floyd. His tragic death — and the resulting unrest across the country and here in Syracuse — once again renews the call to end racial injustice and unequal treatment of people by law enforcement.
Given recent events, I think it is important to acknowledge our focused effort to create a culture of diversity and inclusion within the Crouse Health organization — as well as reaffirm our commitment to our employees, patients and our community to build on that progress.
Our mission is to provide the best in patient care. To do so, we need to continually strengthen our ability to serve our patients, treating all with compassion and empathy – and without bias or judgment.
As CEO of Crouse Health, I am proud of the work we have done to engage our employees and physicians in this conversation. In just a few short years, we have made significant strides in recognizing differences, expanding awareness of differing viewpoints, and valuing, respecting and supporting each other and those we serve, regardless of background or position. These are important values we have worked hard to integrate into our culture.
As Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Twiggy Eure’s role at Crouse is to provide strategic guidance to help raise awareness and promote a culture of inclusion, while ensuring that all staff members and our patients are treated with dignity and respect. Twiggy works in collaboration with our Diversity and Inclusion Committee, comprised of employees from across the organization, to help us embrace differences and attain our goals.
I believe we are a stronger organization as a result, but we have much more work to do.
To be sure, these can be uncomfortable conversations to have, but we need to keep our minds open to having them. We also need to be open to making changes if it makes us a better, more compassionate organization. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We need to keep those words front and center.
Crouse is committed to standing behind our values and making our workplace a role model in the community, where all are treated equally and justly.
While we cannot change the world, or lessen the racial divide in our country, we can — each of us in our own way — continue to keep this important conversation flowing within our organization and among our families, friends and colleagues.
And we need to remain strong — CrouseStrong — for our community, patients and each other.
Kimberly Boynton is the President and CEO of Crouse Health.