BOSTON – June 1, 2020 – Andrew Dreyfus, president & CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, shared the following message today with the company’s 3,800 employees:
At Blue Cross, we work every day to create a culture where it is safe to speak up about bias and injustice.
It is time for me to speak out now, in sadness and in anger.
The past week, again, has turned a stark spotlight on our country’s brutal inequities.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of police was a moral outrage. Yet we are facing a reckoning that goes far beyond the death of one man.
We know Black Americans are being hospitalized and dying of COVID-19 at higher rates. We know record-high unemployment amid the pandemic is hitting communities of color harder. We know these cruel conditions, and the acts of bigotry and brutality we have seen exposed on camera, are not new, but stem from generations of structural racism.
This is a time to reflect on the pain and anguish of Black Americans. Let me say simply: We stand with our Black colleagues. I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling, but I stand with you as a colleague and as we ask together what we can do to help address racism in this country
On a personal level, this is also a time for all of us to look within and ask what we can do to address racism. It is a time to commit to speak out if we see bias, discrimination or hostility in the workplace and in our communities.
Today I met with our Diversity & Inclusion Council, where we discussed how we can continue, in new ways, to hear and acknowledge pain, to open dialogues and to combat racial disparities in health care. We will do so with the empathy and innovation that are our hallmark.
Health care is an issue of social and racial justice. More than a decade ago, our company and Foundation created a roadmap that has resulted in near-universal health coverage in our state. Each year we volunteer with and donate millions to community organizations that are dedicated to equity in health care. Our company has a strong foundation of trust and inclusion.
It is time to build on that foundation, in both big steps and in small conversations. Our Employee Resource Groups nurture dialogue around social justice, and I urge you to take part in the meaningful connections they offer online these days.
I am proud of our company’s values of diversity, inclusion, equity and respect. Let’s find meaningful new ways to live our values in the days and years ahead, in the powerful spirit of the poet Maya Angelou who wrote:
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Amid our grief and anger, we will rise. And as we rise, we will lift each other.
Thank you, as always, for your spirit of kindness and empathy, and for your fierce commitment to our community.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are committed to the relentless pursuit of quality, affordable health care with an unparalleled consumer experience. Consistent with our promise to always put our members first, we are rated among the nation’s best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.