Changing Lives June 2020 

Statement from Dr. Brenda Coughlin, GLBHC CEO

“We have to be proactive during these events if we truly want to eliminate racism and racial disparities. To do this we have to understand that racism is not imaginary nor is it only found in pockets of our society but that it is embedded in our social infrastructure in various forms.”

Listen to Stories of Lives Changed

Great Lakes Bay Health Centers is dedicated to addressing racism and racial inequality by strengthening efforts to bridge the gap in health disparities. We are safely bringing patients back to care and encouraging them to call for any services they delayed.
Our centers are open and services including eye care, dental, physical therapy, mammography, laboratory and nutrition services are back, along with continued telehealth care. We are taking COVID testing into our neighborhoods to increase access to those most at risk.

Racism is a public health issue. As a healthcare organization, we see firsthand the health disparities among our patients – and we work to address the root causes behind them. 

  • Disproportionate numbers of COVID-19 deaths and unemployment rates are devastating many Black and Hispanic communities 
  • Black women are more than 3 times likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than whites
  • Evidence shows non-white patients consistently receive less adequate pain treatment

The national health center movement was born during the struggle for racial justice in the 1960s as an answer to the call for health equity – care for everyone, regardless of who they are, where they come from or their ability to pay. This is our mission: providing excellent healthcare to individuals and communities, especially those who are underserved, uninsured, or underinsured.

We have specific efforts in action to improve all aspects of equitable healthcare:

  • President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is guiding efforts to address health disparities among patients and create a more inclusive environment
  • Health Literacy Committee is working to ensure all patient communication is culturally appropriate and accessible
  • GLBHC was one of first healthcare centers in the state to collect Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Expression data to identify the needs of these patients
  • Community Health Promotion Committee is working with churches and other partners to spread the word about COVID testing and safety education, and addressing patient fears that could hold them back from seeking services
  • Mental Health Surge Taskforce is addressing increased stress and depression
  • GLBHC Board of Directors is diverse and reflects communities we serve.

Together, we can improve health and wellness for all in an environment where everyone feels respected, loved, cared about, and listened to.

You Can Help Change Lives Now

You can help make sure that your neighbors – including the most vulnerable people in our communities – have safe access to all medical, dental, behavioral health and supporting services. Spread the word that coming back for regular healthcare is essential. A financial gift will help to ensure all services are available and support ongoing COVID safety, testing and outreach. Please donate online or contact Fund Development Coordinator Jill Armentrout at jarmentrout@glbhealth.org to find out about other ways to give. Thank you for the meals, masks and financial support already provided to help Change Lives Now. 

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