Equity’s in our ethos, but we have so much more to do
By: Sachin Aggarwal, CEO
At Think Research, our mission is to organize the world’s health knowledge so that everyone gets the best care. Equity, particularly in healthcare, is built into our ethos. But in recent weeks, we’ve taken time to dig deeper and learn more about what that really means to us. We know there is so much more we can do to fight anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and systemic racism on a broader scale. We know we have the tools to create change in our own workplace and in the broader health care community.
Over the years, many studies and reports have shown that racism, conscious and unconscious bias do have a clear impact on the level of care that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) patients receive.
Health outcomes reflect that.
We’ve seen it clearly with COVID-19. In the U.S., the disease is disproportionately killing Black Americans, who have been dying at higher than twice the rate of white people. We know that the poorest and most racially diverse neighbourhoods in Canada are also experiencing higher rates of the disease.
But the impact is hardly limited to this pandemic. The Black Health Alliance lists some stark statistics on its website.
According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Black women are 43 per cent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.
And a 2012 report by the Wellesley Institute found Black immigrants in Canada were 76 per cent more likely to assess themselves as “unhealthy” compared to other racialized groups.
Systemic racism does exist in healthcare. It’s punctuated by the disparity experienced by Black communities in their access to a doctor or specialist, in how symptoms are believed, in quality of care and in representation at medical schools and in healthcare professions.
We firmly believe Black Lives Matter.
Think Research has always made an effort to be inclusive in hiring and promoting, in our marketing and our partnerships. Today we are committing to taking those efforts further. To start:
- We commit to supporting the efforts and the calls to collect race-based health data in Canada. Better data is needed to ensure that people of all races are getting the best care.
- We commit, as an executive team, to make a financial contribution to the Black Health Alliance, which works to reduce the racial disparities in health outcomes and promote health and well-being for people from the diverse Black communities in Canada, matching employee donations up to $10,000.
- We commit to further promoting anti-racism through staff training and by reducing prejudicial barriers to entry and advancement in our recruitment and retention efforts, including removing names from resumes during initial screening. We will continue to work to ensure that BIPOC perspectives are included in our product development and our own clinical healthcare content.
We are also committed to continuing our own education — listening and doing the work needed to move forward in the fight against racism. Thank-you, as always, for your support.