Statement on Racial Justice
We stand in solidarity with those fighting for justice following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Manuel Ellis, Tony Robinson and countless other Black lives lost at the hands of law enforcement. Inequities in health care, and in the places we live, learn, and work have resulted in the deaths of millions of Black people. Systemic and historical injustices have led us to this moment.
We say unequivocally that racism undermines health in every imaginable way. We see health justice work as essential to the future we want.
As health advocates, we work to ensure that humanity remains at the heart of the health care experience. As citizens of this country, we are also called upon to ensure that humanity exists at the heart of every function of our society. Black lives matter. We see patient advocacy work as an opportunity to bridge one of the many gaps in our system, so people can speak their truth and tell their stories.
As teachers, we reflect with students that “the form of protest is never acceptable to the oppressor” and that history offers many examples of how different actions have resulted in transformational reforms. Direct action has a long history in health and environmental justice movements; we recognize the immense power and need for direct action to elevate the urgency of our collective response. If not now, when?
The Center for Patient Partnerships commits first to listen to the voices of our Black and Brown community leaders and then to actively engage in the work that is necessary to bring about equity and justice.
We are dedicated through our teaching, research and advocacy to hold ourselves and others accountable. We will partner with other organizations that share our values and work together to fight racism. Action will be our priority; we welcome your input and partnership.
The Center for Patient Partnerships’ mission is to engender effective partnerships among people seeking healthcare, people providing healthcare, and people making policies that guide the healthcare system. We do this in four interconnected ways:
- Advocacy: We accompany and assist patients with serious illnesses on their journeys through the healthcare system.
- Education: We educate students from all disciplines to engage in effective, compassionate advocacy.
- Policy: We work with patients to influence health policy and encourage the healthcare system to meaningfully respond to patient experiences.
- Research: We study advocacy’s impact and promote best practices for the industry based on our findings.
You might be asking: why do we do this work? Why is this work important?
For many, the U.S. healthcare system is cold, complex, and challenging. Patient advocacy is more relevant than ever before. In its 2006 report on cancer care, the Institute of Medicine found that technological advancement made care more complicated for patients. While healthcare delivery systems are being designed to address complex patient needs, patients’ experiences can be fragmented and frustrating.
As a result, a persistent and energetic consumer movement has emerged to demand high-quality, patient-centered care. However, patients might not have the professional expertise to make effective demands on the system. Modern medicine as complex in its policy as in its practice, and with the tremendous effort many patients are undertaking to fight their own illnesses, some might not have the resources or energy to effectively identify, pursue, and attain what they need. Meanwhile, providers face increasing demands on time, skills and resources.
Helping patients and families address illness-related psychosocial, financial and legal issues not only increases satisfaction—it can actually improve health. Moreover, emerging evidence suggests that empowering, educating, and advocating for patients reduces the cost of care while maintaining these good outcomes. Advocacy can help accomplish both objectives. The Center for Patient Partnerships performs this vital advocacy, working with students, patients, and medical professionals to foster accessibility, transparency, and equity from the ground up.