June 2020

Statement on Movement for Racial Justice

Dear Community Members, 

Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI) stands in solidarity with communities of color in efforts to oppose institutionalized racism, intolerance, discrimination, marginalization and bigotry. Please consider ways we all can help our community members and neighbors in the days ahead. 

To be clear, we do not tolerate racism. Rather than avoiding the subject, we must have open conversations about equity and justice, including health equity, which is at the core of our mission and values. 

Communities of color have endured, and continue to endure, trauma and structural inequality in this country. The associated societal issues not only remain pervasive but have become increasingly concerning during COVID-19, a pandemic that has disproportionately harmed these communities. 

As agents of health and safety in Oregon, we urge individuals seeking to promote justice to do so through civic engagement and non-violent ways. This includes community discourse and engaging with diverse communities throughout our region and state. As part of our collaborative solutions-based work, the Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration, a division within GOBHI, partners with the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) to provide Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) to first responders – including law enforcement and 911 dispatchers. CIT connects first responders with resources in their communities, as well as provides training on behavioral health, de-escalation techniques, and other related practices. 

GOBHI recognizes the Oregon Health Authority Definition of Health Equity: 

“Oregon will have established a health system that creates health equity when all people can reach their full health potential and well-being and are not disadvantaged by their race, ethnicity, language, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, social class, intersections among these communities or identities, or other socially determined circumstances. 

Achieving health equity requires the ongoing collaboration of all regions and sectors of the state, including tribal governments to address: 

  • The equitable distribution or redistributing of resources and power; and 
  • Recognizing, reconciling and rectifying historical and contemporary injustices.” 

Additionally, GOBHI embraces Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as core values in our role as a leader in rural and frontier healthcare. We honor the contributions of our diverse communities and all of our EOCCO members in Oregon. We support peaceful advocacy for change in facing the grim reality of structural inequality. 

Sincerely,

Karen Wheeler
GOBHI CEO

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