Racial Equity in Healthcare: Why It Matters and the Significance of Juneteenth

Join Heartland at the Lawrence Juneteenth Celebration on 6/15 in South Park

Racial equity in healthcare is a crucial issue that impacts the lives and well-being of people of color. Ensuring fair access to quality healthcare services regardless of race or ethnicity is not just a moral imperative but a fundamental aspect of human rights. Historically, people of color have faced significant disparities in healthcare, leading to poorer health outcomes, higher mortality rates, and decreased quality of life.

Why Racial Equity in Healthcare is Important

Improved Health Outcomes: Racial equity ensures that all individuals receive the care they need, which leads to better overall health outcomes. Studies have shown that people of color often experience higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. For instance, African Americans are 60% more likely to have diabetes compared to white Americans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and Hispanic communities experienced higher rates of infection and mortality, highlighting the urgent need for equitable healthcare solutions. Addressing these disparities through equitable healthcare can lead to early diagnosis, better management, and improved survival rates.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Heartland are the center point of our mission of Welcoming All Who Need Care,” said Cable. “Our commitment to DEI is shaped by our desires of making sure Health Equity is a fundamental right for every person regardless of their racial, ethnic, socio-economic, sexual, gender and religious diversity within our Lawrence Community.”

Why We Celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and enslaved people were now free, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is a time to reflect on the history of slavery and the ongoing struggle for civil rights and justice. It serves as a reminder of the resilience and strength of African Americans in the face of adversity. We honor the contributions that African Americans have contributed to society and to celebrate the richness of our heritage. Communities come together for parades, cultural performances, and educational events to recognize this significant day.

Inspiring Action: Juneteenth is also a call to action. It encourages us to continue the fight for equality and justice in all areas of society, including healthcare. It reminds us that the journey towards true equity is ongoing and that we must remain vigilant and proactive in addressing disparities. The celebration of Juneteenth has grown in prominence, symbolizing the broader movement towards racial equality and the ongoing efforts to address systemic racism in all its forms.

This Juneteenth we are furthering our commitment to health equity as we celebrate the resilience and strength of African Americans in the face of adversity and their contributions to society,” said Cable. “Come celebrate the richness of our heritage with the Lawrence Community at South Park on Saturday, June 15th. There will be food, live music, joy and laughter.”

Lawrence, KS Juneteenth Celebration 

You can learn more about Juneteenth with our local community at the Lawrence Juneteenth Celebration on June 15, 2024. The parade takes place at 11 am, with festivities immediately afterward in South Park at 1141 Massachusetts St.  

Picture of Victoria Cable

Victoria Cable

Health, Equity & Belonging Coordinator

Victoria Cable performing on stage at the Lawrence Juneteenth Celebration in 2023. Victoria is nominated for Best of Lawrence for her work as a Community Leader in Racial Justice & Equity

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Heartland are the center point of our mission of “Welcoming All Who Need Care.” Our commitment to DEI is shaped by our desires of making sure Health Equity is a fundamental right for every person regardless of their racial, ethnic, socio-economic, sexual, gender and religious diversity within our Lawrence Community. This Juneteenth we are furthering our commitment to health equity as we celebrate the resilience and strength of African Americans in the face of adversity and their contributions to society. Come celebrate the richness of our heritage with the Lawrence Community at South Park on Saturday, June 15th. There will be food, live music, joy and laughter.”  

– Victoria Cable