Community

Spectrum Health honors legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 12, 2021–Spectrum Health is committed to racial and health equity throughout the communities it serves, putting added emphasis on these ideals on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year, Spectrum Health is pleased to honor King’s legacy and achievements by supporting and participating in the following events and encouraging others to join, too:

Lynn Todman, vice president, health equity, Spectrum Health will be the keynote speaker at Lake Michigan College’s MLK kick-off event on Monday. In her keynote, Todman explores the important role allyship played for Dr. King and discusses how allyship remains integral to advancing equity today.

“Allyship was critical to the efforts of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to lift up human and civil rights. Allyship is also critical to the health equity work being undertaken by Spectrum Health, and it’s why we are committed to and invest in collaborations and partnerships,” said Todman.

On MLK Day and all year round, Spectrum Health encourages members of the community to engage in self-reflection and have brave and necessary conversations around the topic of race so we can make our communities and workplaces more inclusive. On January 21, for example, Spectrum Health team members are invited to participate virtually in a conversation with David Pilgrim, founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University. Pilgrim, an applied sociologist with a doctorate from Ohio State University, serves as FSU’s vice president for diversity and inclusion.

“We remain dedicated to MLK Day of Service, encouraging team members to participate in blood drives and volunteer activities that support the communities we serve,” said Valissa Armstead, Spectrum Health’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion. “This is a time to remember our history and recommit ourselves to service, yet also realize there is still much work to be done to truly fulfill Rev. Dr. King’s dream.”

Spectrum Health also strives to achieve greater health equity through continued to work in partnership with others to collect data, respond to concerns and seek solutions.  In West Michigan, interventions have included vaccine clinics in historically underserved communities and support of the Cure Violence and Strong Beginnings programs.

In 2020, Spectrum Health pledged to take on the challenge to eliminate racism and its impacts on health, hope and lives, both within the organization and in the communities it serves. This pledge, and additional commitments regarding equity and cultural competency can be found at https://www.spectrumhealth.org/about-us/pledge-to-act.

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Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over 1 million members across the state of Michigan. People are at the heart of everything we do. Locally governed and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are focused on our mission: to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. Spectrum Health has a legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Through experience, innovation and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness.

Contact:
Beth Cranson
Media Relations
Office: 616.391.2603
Mobile: 616.540.0813
Email: elizabeth.cranson@spectrumhealth.org