A Message for the Shields Family from Lee Cooper, CEO
Dear Shields Team,
George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. There are so many other names of African Americans who have lost their lives due to unconscionable acts of hatred and violence within our society. What makes this so painful and tragic is that we, as a society, have not made progress; we have avoided taking the actions required to eliminate racism and bigotry. There are many of you in our Shields family suffering and we want to make sure we do everything we can to acknowledge and provide support for you and your families.
I recently saw a quote by Ibram X. Kendi, executive director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center, “There is no such thing as being ‘not racist’. We are either being racist or antiracist.” Shields Health Solutions has been built on a culture of kindness, of caring for others, of generosity and we have always condemned racism and other forms of discrimination. Providing an environment of diversity and inclusiveness are core values and principles we live by and stand for. I am proud of our diverse team. The work we do for patients enables us to improve lives; we will continue to drive change that expands across healthcare to all that need it, especially in under-served populations. Along with creating a culture of kindness and caring is making sure we are asking each other direct, sometimes uncomfortable questions and leaning into the tough discussions that will move us forward. We can, MUST and Will do more.
As mentioned in our townhall, we are organizing an advisory board led by Stephen Davis, Director-Health System Strategy and Jalice Speed, MPS, along with Tanya Menchi in an advisory capacity in her role as Director of Public Policy. They are assembling a team to determine how we can better support our diverse employees, their families and the communities we live and work in and they will report directly to me with their recommendations. This will include identifying where our corporate donation(s) will have the biggest impact. We will act swiftly. This effort is the start of a bigger focus on how we can continuously find ways to create the best environment to work, grow and build a future that truly embraces inclusiveness and diversity.
I appreciate and need each of your support, thoughts, ideas and most importantly, your commitment to making our company and the communities in which we work and live better for all.
CEO, Shields Health Solutions