Spectrum Health Lakeland has announced a new strategy to address racial and ethnic health equity in southwest Michigan. President Loren Hamel says the Spectrum Health Lakeland Board of Directors met this week and approved a capital fund of $50 million for equity work in the communities served by the system. He noted racial inequity in healthcare has been highlighted by the pandemic.
“Residents of color have suffered more from COVID-19,” Hamel said. “They’ve had more than their share of the disease, and more than their share of the complications, and more than their share of the deaths. And that’s not only in our county, that’s across the country and certainly across the state, and we’ve committed to doing something about that.”
The interest on that $50 million will go into the equity campaign, meaning around $20 million to $25 million over the next decade. Hamel said Lakeland’s efforts will include a three-pronged approach.
“We laid out a three point strategy to kind of lean in and do more for social justice and to do more to help prevent address systemic racism, and of course, to do more to improve health equity. And that three part plan includes money, resources, leadership, and transparency.”
Systemwide, Spectrum Health is also making a $100 million investment in addressing racial equity and systemic racism. Dr. Lynn Todman has been appointed as Vice President of Health Equity at Spectrum Health Lakeland and will serve as a member of Lakeland’s Senior Leadership Team to oversee the effort locally. You can find out more at SpectrumHealthLakeland.org/PopulationHealth.