The death of George Floyd is inexcusable. At the same time our country struggles to heal from the primary and secondary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the events surrounding Mr. Floyd’s death in Minneapolis force us to publicly face the harsh reality that minority groups are still burdened by racism and oppression, which destroys lives and well-being in a way that no virus can match.
It is the American Chiropractic Association’s mission to “inspire and empower our members to elevate the health and wellness of their communities.” As portal-of-entry healthcare providers and primary care physicians, doctors of chiropractic are educated and licensed to diagnose, treat, and co-manage patients. Our doctors work in private practices, multi-disciplinary clinics and hospitals. We are an integral part of the healthcare system and have a responsibility to ensure that we provide the best possible care.
To this end, ACA has taken steps toward educating and informing our members. In December 2018, the ACA Diversity Commission drafted a Diversity Statement that promotes the development of cultural agility through “enhanced skills and knowledge of the needs of a multicultural society and [a] commitment to inclusion that begins with broader concepts of diversity.” We believe those skills and that commitment are the foundation of competent health care.
Sadly, the racism we have witnessed in the news over the past few weeks is a symptom of something much deeper. It is the most visible sign of a problem within the systems that affect our daily lives, such as education, government and, most certainly, health care. ACA is committed to alleviating healthcare disparities by helping our members to understand and meet the needs of the diverse populations they serve.
Doctors of chiropractic recognize that to elevate the health and wellness of communities, racism and its resulting inequities must be addressed. ACA and its members are up to the task.
It has only been a few months since the COVID-19 pandemic entered the United States and changed the way we practice, including the requirement that everyone wear masks. In some cases, we never see our patients’ faces, but it is part of our responsibility to recognize the person behind every mask and to help those around us do the same.
ACA Board of Governors
Robert C. Jones, DC
Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD
Kathy Boulet, DC
Leo J. Bronston, DC, MAppSC
Karen Konarski-Hart, DC
Hon. Steve C. Roberts, Esq.