Community Care Response to the Death of George Floyd

Statement from Denise Cyzman, President and CEO, and Amy Falk, Board Chair of the Community Care Network of Kansas, on the Death of George Floyd

June 4, 2020

The Community Care Network of Kansas grieves the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, and stands in support of all those victimized at the hands of those not believing that all people are created equal. We affirm that black lives do matter – and will do everything in our capacity as healthcare professionals to reject racism, indifference, discrimination, and the absence of charity that has created our current environment. We must, for silence and inaction will allow further marginalization.

It is time for change. This nation is in crisis.

Our health centers and clinics throughout the state are uniquely positioned to be part of a new push for social justice. The community health center movement was born of the 1960s civil rights movement because visionaries refused to continue denying basic health care as a human right. Bringing services directly into communities of color, into communities trapped in vicious cycles of poverty, into spaces overlooked and ignored – that is the proud heritage of our network. It is what we honorably practice to this day.

It also is a solid foundation upon which to build.

Access to health care in America should be a given. So should access to education, affordable housing, sustainable wages, public transit, a fair legal system, and a safe environment in which to live our lives. Institutional forces that created the inequities on display today all compound the social determinants of
health – and lead to poorer health outcomes. No more studies are necessary to identify who is disproportionately affected; COVID-19 death tallies confirm what we all know.

As a healthcare organization, we recommit to being transformative agents of change in our communities.

We weep today for the family of George Floyd and for all Americans not accorded full privilege because of their skin color, gender, religious inclination, sexual orientation or ethnic background. Tomorrow, we redouble our efforts to ensure justice and equality for all.