In December 2014 members from across our statewide department came together to brainstorm ideas to assure ongoing efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion work by our department as a culmination of the 2020 Initiative. Creation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee was one of its recommendations. The charter for the committee’s formation was approved by the Executive Team on March 25, 2015 and our first meeting launched in August 2015. We have been a productive and cohesive group and have completed work in all areas of our strategic TRUST framework. Despite broad representation of our membership, widespread engagement of programmatic opportunities and operationalization of recommendations has been limited to date.
As our department joins the awakening of the American people to the grave injustices experienced by African Americans sparked by the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, we are honored and eager to accept this charge and appreciate the sincere intent by the DFMCH leadership to provide not only support in words but in deeds with a commitment to departmental leadership participation, coordination, and fiscal support.
We know our work ahead remains long and winding but are heartened by other professional organizations, health care systems, and academic medical institutions who have declared racism a public health crisis along with the Wisconsin Public Health Association including the American Academy of Family Physicians, UW Health, and UW School of Medicine and Public Health. We hope to help lead our department in becoming a leader in this arena.