Dear ACHE of MA Community,
The Tranquilizing Drug of Gradualism…
It is mid-January and we continue to navigate the seemingly circuitous and compounding crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on marginalized communities. This time of year, we are at the precipice of a day we reflect and and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy and a month when we particularly celebrate and elevate the contributions of African-Americans to our country’s history.
Beyond celebrating, we must reflect, rearrange, and revolutionize.
Reflect on the past
Rearrange the present
Revolutionize the future
With the nation’s racial reckoning and the illumination and exacerbation of health inequities by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, falling into a pattern of discontent, disillusion, or apathy is in direct contrast to words from Dr. King’s oft-referenced and invoked 1963’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to take the tranquillizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promised of democracy.”
The fierce urgency remains…to ensure that everyone has the equal opportunity to receive the highest quality of care no matter what they look like, where they live, who they worship, or how much money they have.
Our role as healthcare leaders gives us the unique opportunity and immense responsibility to see Dr. King’s words into action. Pushing for lasting change in our organizations and healthcare as a whole – in a way that catalyzes transformation that doesn’t take another 59 years; this is the antidote to that tranquilizing drug.
This MLK Day and Black History Month, I leave you with a call to action – be the change; be the antidote to the disease of racism and inequities in healthcare.
Frantz M. Berthaud, MPH
Administrative Director, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Vice-Chair of ACHE of MA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee