A look back: The year begins with embracing health equity

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Boston Common has been the site of many civic gatherings over the past few hundred years, one of which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at in 1965 where he called for the city to live to its highest ideals.

Serving as a reflection of love and racial equality, “The Embrace” statue was unveiled at Boston Common on January 13th in honor of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King. Knowing that Dr. and Mrs. King stood for all forms of equity and equality, Point32Health was honored to be a sponsor of Embrace Boston.

Health equity is an important focus for our organization, as we believe everyone deserves quality, equitable health care and respectful, inclusive treatment, as demonstrated by our recent recognition of our health plans by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and highlighted by our President and CEO, Cain A. Hayes, during a recent sponsorship message.

At the unveiling, which was held just a few days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Kings’ granddaughter Yolanda King encouraged everyone to honor her grandparents:

“We are all challenged to carry forth their unfinished work. This is the spirit we must keep, as we commemorate the 37th Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday. Let’s make it a great day of community service, a day of brotherhood, a day of sisterhood, a day of using your platform for good, a day of love and healing in the spirit of this wonderful monument.” – Yolanda King

Community and culture come together to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy

Led by our diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and health equity team, Point32Health further honored the work of Dr. King this month during the Cultural Social Hour for colleagues, which focused on “Cultivating a Beloved Community Mindset to Transform Unjust Systems.” Guest speaker Jonathan David Dance, who is a historian for Alpha Phi Alpha where Dr. King was a member, spoke about Dr. King’s years in Boston and his work to advance racial and economic justice.

The Cultural Social Hour ended with a service project for on-site colleagues who put together 300 mental health kits for the Boys and Girls Club of Boston and Dearborn STEM Academy in Roxbury.

One of the most impactful moments of the session came during Dance’s address to the audience. Dance believed that if Dr. King was alive today, he would celebrate the progress that’s been made but still identify opportunity, particularly when it comes to health equity.

“He [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.] would insist on health equity for all citizens.” – Jonathan David Dance, Alpha Phi Alpha historian

He believes that Dr. King would insist people of color and women especially keep up with preventive care and have a PCP, that he’d be a proponent for fair housing and a proponent for ending hunger in our communities. Dance closed with a call to action: “Let’s build communities together…And then once we can do that, then we’re really going to accomplish things like peace, justice and equality.”

For more on our organization’s ongoing health equity efforts and achievements, read a recent Becker’s interview featuring Cain A. Hayes:

Considerations for Health Equity