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Toward Equity in American Health Care

Earlier this week, the Commonwealth Fund’s Board of Directors approved the creation of a new Health Equity Fund that will expend up to $15 million over three years to advance equity in U.S. health care and combat systemic racism throughout our health system. This spending, which will be in addition to the Commonwealth Fund’s planned budgets for the next three fiscal years, will support the foundation’s work in advancing the cause of racial justice in the United States at this time of national reckoning.

The murder of George Floyd, the many killings of Black Americans that preceded and followed it, and the tremendous suffering of people of color during the ongoing pandemic underscore the racism that shapes and affects systems and structures in our society, including the health care system. The recent civil protests — the largest in U.S. history — signify the broad awareness of these inequities.

The Commonwealth Fund is committed to an antiracist agenda to counter this shameful legacy, and we are committed to working with those who have dedicated years and decades confronting these problems to help develop solutions.

In the coming weeks, we will be assembling an advisory group of experts to help us identify specific areas of focus for our Health Equity Fund. We expect that this group will continue to provide counsel as we consider grant proposals and assess progress toward the goal of an equitable health care system for all Americans.

As we said in June, this is not the country, or the health care system, we should leave to our children and grandchildren. We must stand together against racism and for equity in American health care.

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