June 23, 2020 For Immediate Release
As an organization, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare opposes injustice and discrimination. We are committed to providing a workplace and treatment environment that makes equality, diversity and openness priorities. We acknowledge, as many have recently done, that systemic racism is a public health emergency, a long-standing pandemic that must finally be eradicated across all aspects of society.
In the past few months, we have navigated through the difficult and uncertain terrain of a major health crisis with creativity, resilience and determination. COVID-19 has caused us to find new ways to reduce barriers to care made worse by the pandemic. As an essential service, we modified how and where we provided care so that we could reach every person needing our help safely and effectively. Ensuring full access to treatment and reducing health barriers and disparities in our communities remains Meridian’s core purpose no matter what challenges we face.
In the midst of this, the tragic killing of George Floyd, compounded by other senseless killings over the years, has sparked the expression of decades of collective anger and frustration over the unacceptable abuse of power and authority. This pain is felt across the communities where we work and call home. His recent death has highlighted hidden truths that many of us wanted to believe no longer existed. Because we stand by Meridian’s core purpose, we must also stand together against the unfortunate history of racism that continues to deepen barriers and disparities for African Americans and other people of color in our country.
Meridian is made up of extraordinary people of every age, race, gender, religion and background, all worthy of the same dignity. We view our diversity as one of our great strengths. And while we would like to say that racism has no place in our society, we know that systemic racism still exists despite the progress that has been made. We cannot turn a blind eye to it or accept some sense of “order” that’s based on oppression. Our clients depend on Meridian’s diversity and inclusion to assist them with presenting issues.
Meridian is a company that is stronger together and we are committed to racial and social justice. We will continue to identify and overcome biases, and encourage differing points of view. It is only through appreciation and respect for our collective cultures and a commitment to change that will move our world forward. Our patients and our community deserve no less!
With respect, gratitude and support,
Donald P. Savoie, President/CEO
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