ACH Statement on Racism and Our Responsibility

The Academy of Communication in Healthcare (ACH) has committed to improving healthcare through relationship centered communication, but historically we have failed to incorporate racial justice as a pillar upon which high quality and humanistic health care rests. We have erred, and we commit to change. Lives depend upon our actions.

ACH strongly condemns racist violence targeting Black people in the United States, whether committed by law enforcement or the healthcare system. We are outraged by the brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others. We affirm our solidarity with Black people and oppressed communities throughout this country, especially as we join in calls for justice and dismantling structural racism.

As the ACH board of directors, we:

  1. affirm the intrinsic value and dignity of every person and reject actions, words, or attitudes that devalue or harm anyone based on the social constructs of race or other biases.
  2. recognize police brutality and any form of racism against Black communities to be a grave and chronic public health issue that must change.  
  3. recognize the central role of effective, relationship-centered communication in creating an anti-racist culture within our health professions and in clinical practice.
  4. call upon ourselves and our members to stand united against all forms of racism, including structural racism in healthcare, to speak out individually and collectively, and to actively become part of the solution in order to promote wellbeing for all.  

ACH is committed to taking actionable steps to address racism and promote equity and justice within our organization and for the communities we serve.  We invite your input and ongoing feedback regarding these actions and our effectiveness.   

Examples of current and anticipated steps include:

  1. restructuring of the ACH Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to formally integrate a DEI focus into all committees
  2. deliberate attention to diversification of the Leadership Development Committee, which nominates all board and executive committee members, and ongoing attention to the revision of its processes with the goal of leadership diversification
  3. revision of ACH fellow criteria to explicitly value contributions that center equity
  4. professional development activities designed to enhance ACH faculty skill in effectively mentoring faculty trainees of color
  5. continued commitment to course scholarships that prioritize racially under-represented groups and are not contingent on financial need
  6. ongoing development and dissemination of curricula to support racially equitable communication in patient and team encounters
  7. board strategic planning in October 2020 facilitated by Mission Partners, a consultant chosen for their expertise in centering organizational equity

    This list is incomplete and requires our continued attention. We invite you to provide your input through the online form located on the right side of the page.
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