Last Saturday, multiple Avina physicians donned their white coats and joined the orderly protest march to the Ohio Statehouse downtown. The express goal was to further focus attention on the racial disparities and inequities that black women and other minorities have encountered in obtaining optimal health care in our city.
As the providers for women’s health in central Ohio, we have long recognized the myriad complex barriers to a healthy life that are faced by black women and other minorities. An overwhelming body of evidence demonstrates the increase of maternal morbidity/mortality, infant mortality and incidence of chronic illness and disease.
At Avina Women’s Care, we recognize racism as a public health crisis. It is our hope that substantive, open dialogue and the strategic use of resources will shepherd in a new era of societal and health care changes in the years to come.
When Avina was created by the many physicians who comprise our practices, the phrase “Sharing your journey for a healthy life” was carefully chosen as it is all inclusive. We strive to provide the highest level of care to all patients regardless of skin color, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation. We are driven by this philosophy each and every day.
The challenge for Avina and its response to racism lies not just today, but in the future. C.S. Lewis once wrote:
In the months to come, some of the passion and rhetoric may turn away from systemic racism and on to other issues. It is our ethical responsibility to keep making strides towards equality. We commit to being a part of a long term solution for our community in eliminating health disparities among minority and at-risk populations.
Written by Christopher Copeland, M.D., FACOG
Chairman, Avina Women’s Care