At the Cancer Support Community, we recognize that we are facing extremely challenging times in our country due to the many layers of crisis and strife affecting our families, our communities and our nation. Both COVID-19 and the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor lay bare the racial inequities in our society and magnify very real systemic and institutional injustices.
As an organization, we believe in equity for all, including in health care, and fight every day to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect and have the opportunity to live healthy and safe lives—physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Yet, as a nation, we have fallen far short of this goal. The inadequate and broken U.S. health care system is a microcosm of the social injustices that persist in our society. These injustices lead to health disparities, barriers to appropriate care and treatment, and, in some cases, lives lost or taken too soon.
This moment also comes as the nation—indeed, the world—grapples with a global health pandemic and the associated economic challenges that are exposing the fault lines in our social safety net. Consistent with our core belief that empowered patients should be at the center of health care decision making, we will continue to advocate for the expansion of policies that break down these inequities and enable all individuals to have access to affordable medical care and the support they need and deserve.
We commit to listen, educate ourselves, and stand in solidarity with communities of color in these challenging times. We will create and maintain a climate of inclusion. We will hold our leaders, policymakers, and those in positions of power accountable with the expectation and conviction that these measures will end the inequalities we struggle with today and ensure that the opportunity to lead healthy and safe lives is within reach for all of us.
In closing, anyone who has been impacted by cancer knows that in addition to making informed decisions about treatment, they must hold on to the hope that things they do today will result in a healthier, happier tomorrow. In this time of crisis, we must all hold on to that same hope for our communities and our nation.