Column: Time to address systemic problem


Commentary by Dennis Murphy 

I know I can never really understand what it’s like to be an African-American in our nation today, but I can still be outraged at the injustice and racism that continue to be a stain on our nation.

This past month has shown again – if more proof were needed – that we have a deep and systemic problem in the way some of our citizens are treated. Events like those in Minneapolis; Louisville;Glynn County, Ga.; and here in Indianapolis are simply unacceptable. We must all look deeply into our hearts and souls and ask ourselves what we can do to change this endemic pattern of racism and injustice.

At this time, I know that many of us are hurt, upset, angry and even in despair about what has happened. Let’s extend the power of love to each other and let’s stand together. That we all say “no” to hate and injustice and cruelty wherever it manifests itself. That we are committed, as individuals and as an organization, to treating every person with the dignity and respect that all human beings deserve.

We in healthcare have our own issues of injustice and inequity to address, as we know that African-Americans and other minorities have long had issues accessing appropriate care, have higher rates of common chronic illnesses and, more recently, have suffered disproportionate rates of infection and death from COVID-19. At IU Health, we are continuing to provide excellent and compassionate care to all the patients we care for, but we also know there’s more we can do to address health disparities in our communities, and we are working on doing so.

We are also committed to keeping all team members safe so they can care for our patients. We are protecting our facilities and ensuring we can maintain normal operations even in areas where protests and unrest are occurring. This is our responsibility to you and to the patients we serve across Indiana.

Let’s all work to make our world a better place.

Dennis Murphy is president and CEO of Indiana University Health.