In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, our President and CEO Andrea Walsh shared this message encouraging our colleagues to take time to reflect about race and equity in our communities.

To: All colleagues
From: Andrea Walsh, President and CEO
Subject: Living our commitment to diversity and inclusion

Today we remember the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This morning, millions are taking time for conversations and reflection about race and equity in our communities, our workplaces and in our everyday lives. I hope you will, too.

At HealthPartners, we commit to “every person welcomed, included and valued.” For me, our focus on diversity and inclusion is some of our most important work. Every day, with every interaction, we can build trusting relationships with our members, patients and colleagues, and help create a healthier community where all people are respected and thrive.

I spent a morning last week with a family medicine clinician as he cared for and built trust with four patients, none of whom shared his skin color. The clinic lobby was bustling with patients of different race and ethnicity, and our team was welcoming to all. Later in the week, I watched our interpreters skillfully bridge language barriers for a hospital patient and family member. And I attended a meeting in the community, where HealthPartners, as part of the Itasca Group, is sponsoring an effort to make our region’s workplaces more diverse and inclusive.

Each of these encounters reminds me of what we have in common as people. We all want connection, health, and to make our community and our lives better. At the same time, we are diverse in race, language, gender identity and many other things that make us unique. Sometimes our differences make it hard for us to understand each other and work together. Meeting these challenges, together, makes us stronger and better equips us to provide the best care and coverage for our patients and members. No matter who we are, it’s up to each of us to do more each day to understand, respect and support each other with compassion and humility.

We are making real progress, and there is much more to do. Dr. King’s dream continues to challenge and inspire us. Living our commitment is an important way to play a part, helping to fulfill our mission of improving health and well-being for everyone. Thank you for all you do to keep our commitment to those we serve and to each other.