Executive Director Gary Renville reflects on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the 50th anniversary of his death.
As we remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the 50th anniversary of his death, one of his many quotes resonates just as much today as when he first said it to the Medical Committee for Human Rights in 1966: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman.”
From my prior work with the National Kidney Foundation, I know that African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans have rates of diabetes that far exceed those in non-Hispanic whites. I also know that Hispanic males age 20 or younger have the highest prevalence of obesity compared to non-Hispanic whites and African Americans, and that African Americans are more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than non-Hispanic whites.
These of course are just a few of the health inequities that not only affect individuals or specific populations but also impact the overall health status and health care costs facing those we serve.
Volunteer board members answer the call
Dr. King also said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Our volunteer board leaders—past and present—have a good answer for that question. Through careful stewardship of our mission and attention to our Care Coordination, Premium Assistance and Health Home programs, each of our amazing leaders is leaning in to help us increase access to specialty care and eliminate the health care disparities that still disturbingly affect the underserved and underrepresented.
We offer special thanks to our new board president Terri Rambosek and to recently appointed ex-officio member Nancy Belcher. And we extend our best wishes to immediate past president Chrissy Yamada and to board member Kristina Larson, who have just completed their terms. Together these leaders are helping to eliminate disparities in health care, and we thank them for their service.
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