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To our community of partners,
We are proud to share this report following one of the most unusual and challenging years in recent memory.
In 2020, the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York launched a new strategic plan and vision based on racial and socioeconomic equity. This, of course, was the same year that many in our country were confronting the realities of systemic racism and facing a pandemic that illuminated the stark disparities in our health care system.
The disparate impact of COVID-19 made health care inequality more apparent than ever, but these unfair systems are nothing new. While the Health Foundation is pleased to be part of long-overdue conversations about the role we all must play in dismantling these barriers, we recognize these are issues that have been raised by the Black community for generations—and that many people in positions of power are only beginning to listen.
As we enter 2021, we are pursuing our new vision with humility and a desire to listen, learn and adapt to ensure our work—which has always focused on improving the health of underserved communities—is centered on the ideals of racial and socioeconomic health equity.
This report also recognizes and honors the critical work led by community-based organizations over the past year. These groups are the front line of an effort to mitigate the impact of health care inequities. The challenges of the pandemic put tremendous pressure on these organizations, but they have continued to meet the needs of the people they serve throughout this crisis.
This year, it was common to hear the refrain, “Things will never be the same.” That is true and, ultimately, a good thing. The question we are faced with now is: what will we do together to make things better for all people in our community?
We are grateful to every community partner, advocate and leader who collaborated with us in 2020, and we look forward to working together again while forging new relationships in 2021 and beyond. Please enjoy this look back at the Health Foundation’s work in 2020.
Cheryl Smith Fisher
Chair, Board of Trustees
Nora OBrien-Suric, PhD
Date Published: March 11, 2021