I am deeply saddened by the tragic events unfolding across the United States. The social injustices present in our nation require us to speak up.
We at Genome Medical are unified behind a mission to democratize access to genomic medicine for all. This means that we have assembled a group of individuals who are passionate about this cause and who are working to break down inequities in access to health care. I therefore feel it is important that we acknowledge and address the inequities that are coming to the forefront for us as Americans and as global citizens at this time.
Members of the Black community and other people of color have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Americans represent more than half of the 100,000 people who have died in the U.S. due to this pandemic. Beyond the health impacts, underrepresented groups have also felt the socio-economic strife associated with the pandemic more acutely. In addition, the horrific death of George Floyd and the ensuing events of the past week have highlighted that racism in our country persists.
This is a remarkably challenging time for our country and our world. As issues mount, many of us are feeling stress, confusion, anger, sadness and a desire to take action. We want to engage in discussions transparently, openly and authentically with a commitment to lead change.
Core to our aim at Genome Medical is that we utilize genetics and genomics to protect and advance human health across all ethnic, racial and geographic groups. Genetics shows us that our shared humanity unites us. Our life code is indeed very much the same, even if we come from different ethnicities and different communities. And, yes, even if we have different color skin. We have been working to break down inequalities in health care access and reach underserved communities. Today, we at Genome Medical expand these commitments and pledge to do the following:
- Educate ourselves. Listen and learn when people with diverse experiences are speaking; seek opportunities for our team members to confront and discuss unconscious biases; share resources to better understand and dismantle systemic racism; and speak up in order to hold our company accountable to not only meet today’s commitments but also keep doing the work of tomorrow to actively promote social justice.
- Be a force for good. We have a responsibility to take action to address the structural inequity in access to health care. We will now expand our commitment to provide genetic education for underrepresented populations and to reach individuals in underserved communities. We actively seek to learn from and partner with advocacy groups serving minority populations and other organizations with an aligned desire to affect change.
- Actively support research initiatives to foster diversity in genomic health data.
- Offer free services to those without economic means -- for all patients with need.
- Expand our diversity commitments and truly hear each other. We are an inclusive company. We do not tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind. We strive to build an environment where everyone can be their authentic selves. We commit to doing more and to continuing to foster inclusion.
We will advance more specific plans regarding these initiatives over the upcoming weeks.
I am incredibly proud of our team, the diversity we represent and our shared passion to improve healthcare for all. Let us stand together and surrender judgment, commit to listen with humility, and advance justice. Let us take action to ensure everyone can live free from fear of violence. Let us march toward a better future together.
Co-founder and CEO