Opinion: How health systems can truly value Black lives: help close the racial wealth gap

Health systems are uniquely positioned to address the racial wealth gap because they are often economic engines in their communities with both job opportunities and purchasing power.

Institutional declarations of support for Black lives were ubiquitous in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. The radical, transformative change demanded by hundreds of thousands of protestors across the country, however, has not been realized.

Health systems can and must help move the country in that direction. Addressing immediate social needs, such as food insecurity, housing, or access to health care, as some health systems are now doing, is important. But to truly value Black lives, they must also be willing to tackle one of the most upstream drivers of racial health disparities: the racial wealth gap.

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