For over 30 years, Pride Magazine has been a source of inspiration and information for the greater Charlotte region’s African American community, lifting and supporting Black voices in and around the place we call home.
It is an honor for Atrium Health to be able to share our story in this September 2022 issue, shining a light on the ways in which we provide care and work to eliminate health disparities. At Atrium Health, our organizational mission – to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – FOR ALL – guides everything we do. And for decades, we’ve worked to bring this mission to life in every community we serve and build a foundation of trust with our neighbors in times of need.
This foundation of trust was particularly critical at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which presented challenges beyond any we’d ever seen – both as health care providers and as community members. Atrium Health met the moment, harnessing the power of public-private partnerships to deliver masks and vaccines to the neighborhoods and people who needed them most.
I continue to be so proud of the Atrium Health teammates who have dedicated themselves to providing care throughout this pandemic. I’m especially proud of our work to close the Covid testing gap in the African American community by drawing on real-time, geographic data and deploying our mobile units, as well as partnering with churches and community organizations.
In fact, I’d like to dedicate this issue to Atrium Health’s 70,000+ health care heroes leading the fight to take care of each patient who comes through our doors and showing up in neighborhoods across the region in service of health, hope and healing. I’m excited that this issue will spotlight some of our incredible teammates and their stories of bravery and compassion.
Our teammates at Atrium Health are no strangers to jumping into action in times of need and, together, we were able to move mountains to keep people safe, healthy and protected against COVID-19. We’ve overcome obstacles and moved forward, collectively, by seeing one another’s humanity and working to remove barriers and address inequities.
At Atrium Health, we know that our work as a health provider doesn’t stop at our walls. The reality is that there are so many factors – including access to reliable transportation, affordable housing and healthy food – that directly affect a person’s quality of life and their well-being. Inequities have plagued our communities and our entire nation for far too long, and we know we have a major role to play in dismantling them to build communities where everyone can thrive.
In this issue, we will share more about our work to advance health equity and our diversity, equity and inclusion agenda, which is core to how we carry out every aspect of our mission. We’ll also highlight what’s to come with The Pearl – Charlotte’s new innovation district – and the limitless opportunity it presents for our community.
As African American writer, feminist and civil rights activist Audre Lorde once said: “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” At Atrium Health, we are driven by this powerful notion: that we can, together, make this world a better place by celebrating both our differences and the ties that bind us. So, together, we will continue to break down barriers, advance equity and keep our FOR ALL mission at the forefront of everything we do.
Eugene A. Woods