In August, we shared a blog post, From Words to Action: Mapping the Fenway Health Racial Equity and Social Justice Journey, with you that set forth Fenway’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization and some of the work we are undertaking to address racial inequities. We promised to be transparent and provide regular updates on our work and accomplishments along that journey and are writing today to share highlights of our progress over the last three months.
Over the last several months, we have:
- Established a Racial Equity Action Team to develop an ambitious, achievable racial equity action plan for Fenway Health. Completion of that plan is targeted for March 2021.
- Created a Health Equity Task Force that is using a data-driven approach to identify gaps and opportunities for improving our care and service delivery models that result in health inequities for our patients and clients.
- Launched a national search for an Executive Vice President of Racial Equity and Social Justice. Our goal is to have the successful candidate on-boarded by the end of March 2021.
- Removed the Columbus Day holiday as of this year and added Juneteenth as a paid holiday starting in 2021.
- Engaged an outside firm to assess our current compensation practices. We anticipate this process to be completed by April 2021.
- Actively expanded our community engagement and partnership efforts to align with partner organizations that can help guide and strengthen the intersection of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ issues in our programs and services and contribute to community-based efforts to achieve shared goals to increase health equity in all communities that we serve. As part of this work, we have established an HIV Community Advisory Board. This new CAB joins The Fenway Institute’s Research CAB and Youth CAB to ensure that diverse outside voices are included in our organizational decision making.
- Committed to establishing a professional development/advancement program, which will include specific annual racial equity-focused professional development goals for individual staff. We will work with the incoming EVP of Racial Equity and Social Justice to launch this program in 2021.
- Engaged two search firms to conduct searches for five new senior leader positions. These search firms were vetted specifically related to their track record on racial equity within their own firms and in their search process, and the filling of these positions will be an opportunity to further diversify our senior level staff.
- Begun to evaluate and improve our procurement policies and practices to prioritize vendor, service, and consulting relationships with BIPOC individuals and businesses. We expect to have a new policy in place by April 2021.
This work won’t always be easy, and it won’t happen overnight (nor is it meant to), but we are committed to becoming a more equitable organization. We look forward to continuing to share our progress in the months ahead. Thank you once again for being part of our community in these extraordinary times.
Jonathan Matsui, Board Chair, and Ellen LaPointe, Chief Executive Officer