Children's Hospital Colorado

Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Statements on Racism and Recent Protests

Children's Hospital Colorado | June 03, 2020

June 3 Statement 

As our country continues to grapple with the trauma of the coronavirus pandemic, we are experiencing additional pain, sadness and loss because of recent events rooted in injustice. Like so many in our community, we at Children’s Hospital Colorado are having conversations with friends, family and our colleagues about this intense reality. And we, like so many of you, are heartbroken by the presence of any type of racism and are committed to continuing to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in all that we do.

Supporting the health and well-being of children is at the center of our work here at Children’s Colorado, and we understand that the stress, fear and social discord that many children are experiencing can have a devastating impact on them. In the midst of these challenges, our core value of being a caring community serves as a true north, guiding us in fulfilling our mission to improve the health of all children. And we stand confidently in the place of caring for kids, caring for our team members and caring for our community.

Through the ongoing work of our Child Health Advocacy Institute, we also understand that race and racism are social determinants of health that have a profound impact on a child’s health – one that follows them throughout their lifetime. We stand with the American Academy of Pediatrics in acknowledging the role of racism in child and adolescent development and health outcomes and in calling for proactive, evidence-based strategies to address systemic racism and violence.

In these trying times, we are collaborating with pediatric experts from across our organization to create resources that support parents and families in having difficult but crucial conversations with their children. We hope you will help us share these resources to support ongoing and constructive dialogue about racism, injustice and how each one of us can educate, support and guide our children through turbulent times. We’re also providing resources to support our team members and create space for meaningful, healthy discussions at work.

At Children’s Colorado, we strive to demonstrate empathy, compassion and humble expertise with every child and family that we serve. Let us model these core principles as we navigate the grief that comes with unrest, death, economic uncertainty, disruption to our daily routines and more. We ask that everyone take the opportunity to reflect on the myriad issues that we are all facing and extend grace to one another.

We hold the mission and values of Children’s Colorado sacred, and we’re committed to continuing to show up as a caring community, operating from a place of love.

June 17 Statement

Over the past several weeks, we at Children’s Hospital Colorado have paused to listen to our community, our patients and families and our team members about the pain, suffering and calls to action that have captured our country’s attention in this vital moment. Across our organization, we’ve engaged in discussions about the institutional origins of systemic racism, the targeted injustices that continue in Black communities, and the ways our social structures produce disparities in education, housing, economics and health.  

Your feedback has also included the impacts of racism both nationally and locally – and you have shared ideas on how Children’s Colorado must consider our ongoing role and influence. In this moment, it is necessary for us all to demonstrate clarity, courage and fortitude to address these long-standing injustices. 

Black Lives Matter. And the collective trauma of this historic moment impacts our Black community, patients’ families and team members in ways that are indescribably unique and painful. 

Children’s Colorado has a continued role to play in service to our mission and our community. We commit to listening and learning from our team members, faculty and community members to make intentional change.

In June, Children’s Colorado joined leaders across our state in announcing support for Colorado Senate Bill 217 (SB 217), Concerning Measures to Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity. SB 217 is designed to improve police accountability and protect Coloradans in interactions with police. In doing so, it addresses a category of preventable trauma which has disproportionately affected Colorado’s Black communities and communities of color for far too long. 

Additionally, President and CEO Jena Hausmann will sponsor our diversity, inclusion and health equity efforts, collaborating across the many departments and dimensions of our organization. By bringing these programs to the forefront of our executive leaders’ agendas, our goal is to integrate the numerous activities across the organization and build true cultural transformation with new and expanded programs. 

Our first task will be to create a comprehensive set of organizational priorities across at least five dimensions:

  1. Strengthening our work in patient care outcomes, experience and education
    • Acknowledging racism as a social determinant of health 
    • Measuring racism’s impact on child health outcomes and experiences at Children’s Colorado
    • Pursuing and funding additional evidence-based programs to promote health equity, always striving for continuous improvement
  2. Recommitting to our work to improve team member outcomes, experience and education
    • Recognizing the impacts of difference at work and striving to provide a healthy and safe workplace for every team member
    • Creating new avenues for anti-racist education
    • Expanding support for team members experiencing discrimination
  3. Deepening our relationships in our communities
    • Partnering with community leaders to advocate for the health and safety of kids and their families beyond our hospital walls and into their communities
    • Building inclusive processes to ensure that our priorities reflect the priorities of the community and effectively meet community needs
  4. Continuing to build relationships with our business partners
    • Ensuring our suppliers, vendors and contractors reflect our values and are stepping up to meet increased expectations of diversity, sustainability and ethical procurement practices
  5. Expanding public policy and advocacy efforts
    • Generating legislative and policy priorities that support our efforts to remove barriers that limit access to care, address social determinants of health and disrupt institutional and structural racism

These actions are just the start. We acknowledge that we have much more to do. We at Children’s Colorado commit to meeting this moment strategically, intentionally and focused on actionable change and impact. We pledge to lead in this moment in history, bringing our expertise in child health to ongoing community conversations and actions, always striving for continuous improvement. 

Resources for parents and families

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