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November 16, 2020 Other Voices

Business leaders must address health disparities, racial inequality in CT

Joe Gianni

Despite ranking as one of the healthiest states in the country, Connecticut’s predominantly Black and Hispanic-Latino communities continue to experience major health disparities, as revealed by recent data from the Connecticut Health Foundation.

This disconnect became even more apparent when the state’s Black and Hispanic-Latino residents were found to be three more times likely to test positive for the coronavirus than white residents.

As our most vulnerable populations continue to be disproportionately impacted by the current health crisis, it is our responsibility as community members and business leaders to take action against these inequalities.

At Bank of America, we are deeply committed to enriching and supporting the local communities we serve, which is why we recently awarded grants totaling $300,000 to support Hartford Hospital, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center and Connecticut Children’s.

As coronavirus concerns persist, we must begin to correct the healthcare discrepancies that existed long before the current health crisis — starting right here in Hartford.

To address these issues locally, Bank of America funding will go to Hartford Hospital’s Medical-Legal Partnership Program, to improve the health and welfare of low-income families and children.

At St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, our support will be directed toward the Social Care HUB: Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Advancing Racial Equity.

For Connecticut Children’s, support will go to its Transitions Clinic, which works with healthcare providers across the state to help patients receive behavioral health treatment.

These partnerships will support the creation of new opportunities for people and communities of color through a lens of racial equity.

Our work is just beginning, and as racial inequities and health disparities remain in our communities, we need to acknowledge the significant changes that will be required to achieve and sustain progress.

In pursuit of this mission, Bank of America recently committed $1 billion to help drive economic opportunity, healthcare initiatives and racial equality.

None of us can sit on the sidelines as the health crisis persists and disparities intensify.

We each have a role — as individuals, families, community members and business leaders — in addressing racial inequities; but it is also more important now than ever for companies across all industries to join the effort in support of a better world for all — regardless of race or economic standing.

Joe Gianni is the Hartford market president for Bank of America.

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