In 2020, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced racism as a public health crisis. As leaders who provide health services for some of the most vulnerable patients in the Greater Los Angeles community including individuals from underrepresented groups, LA Health Services committed to do our part in addressing this crisis head on.
Two years ago, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services started gathering information to create an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Antiracism (EDIA) plan. This was done to help assess our current environment, identify what was working well and identify areas where we could improve. This was done with an eye toward being able to work together to build a world of health care that is fairer, more accessible and just for both our patients and staff.
We listened to patients and community members. In over 40 sessions, that often included difficult topics and conversations, we were able to collect ideas on how to enhance our patient care facilities to ensure that they are safe, inclusive and welcome all people. Together we also thought about strategies on how to best address disparities, which means deliberately addressing differences of race and identity in healthcare.
The result of that intensive information gathering, brainstorming and planning is the newly available LA Health Services EDIA Initiative 2022-2024 Strategic Plan. We also invite you to watch our EDIA video, Dare we say love?
The program launch in August included a variety of events throughout the department intended to raise awareness about the plan and our respective roles and responsibilities within it. The events included virtual panels, workshops, food trucks and even free paletas! Check out the full listing of events here: EDIA Strategic Plan Launch Events (link is only available to staff). New event information is being added, so make sure to visit again for the most updated information.
As we launch the implementation of the initiative, we are profoundly aware that real change does not happen quickly or spontaneously, each one of us will need to commit and do their part. Check out the plan and stay the course with us. We will continue to share information on how you can be an active participant of this important journey. Our destination is an LA Health Services that welcomes and includes all people.