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  • Nov 02, 2023

CHA Releases Anti-Racism Statement

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), an academic community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville and Boston's metro-north region, has released an anti-racism statement to affirm the organization's commitment to creating an organizational culture that is free from racism.

The statement defines a set of shared values against bigotry, violence, and racial injustice; encourages self-awareness and personal accountability; and fosters a culture where people feel psychologically safe to speak up when they observe racist behaviors.

"Cambridge Health Alliance commits to fostering a culture across our organization that is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist for staff and patients and members of the communities we serve," it states. "At CHA, we hold ourselves accountable for doing our part in working to address oppression and advancing equity to overcome the history of systemic racial injustice and violence in healthcare." Read the full statement here.

"Becoming an anti-racist organization will help attract and retain racially diverse hires while expanding diversity in leadership, fostering cultural humility in order to build a safe and just workplace, and breaking down barriers to reduce healthcare disparities," said Michael James, chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer at Cambridge Health Alliance. "It will also contribute to a reduction in reported incidents of racist behavior, an increase of a racially diverse patient population, and an increase in employee satisfaction, engagement, and belonging."

To combat institutional racism, CHA has implemented anti-discrimination policies and practices, as well as a Patient Code of Conduct which helps protect its employees from racism.

"As an immigrant who came to the U.S. at the young age of 17 with no family, no English and no money, accelerating the journey toward health equity is both a personal and professional priority," said Cambridge Health Alliance CEO Assaad Sayah, MD, who served as the co-chair of the Health Equity Task Force created in 2020 by the MA state legislature. "Longstanding structural inequities – especially by race and ethnicity – continue today. We must seize this opportunity to build a more equitable and resilient future for all."

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