Martin Luther King, Jr. And His Influence

Dear Institute Members,

Today we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his enduring influence in this world. Believe it or not, Dr. King was an early proponent of value-based care. As a civil rights leader, he recognized how the manifestation of institutional racism creates health inequities and racial disparities in care.

Dr. King’s famous quotation regarding injustice in health care, namely, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane” is a reminder for us all the importance of health equity in value-based care. Every human deserves an equal opportunity to be healthy, and as leaders, we must advocate as such.

We must overcome institutional racial discrimination in the health care system. Inequities that result from this system failure lead to poor health outcomes in the African-American community, and I would like to raise awareness of this issue to our member health care organizations.

To provide further insight, the following links contain recent data and conversations on health equity and disparities in health and health care among the African-American community.

In this year, at this time, I also find these words of wisdom from Dr. King particularly meaningful and poignant:

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity . . . I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

I absolutely believe that truth and love will prevail. I invite you to believe the same, and then work to make it so.

Warm regards,
Executive Director
Institute for Advancing Health Value