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Message from the Chief Executive Officer: A Commitment to Action, Not Just Words

PITTSBURGH (June 3, 2020) — It's been a difficult and challenging past two weeks for our country. We surpassed 100,000 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and peaceful protests in response to the tragic death of George Floyd were violently disrupted in cities across the nation, including Pittsburgh.

It’s hard to put into words what so many families must be experiencing — the family of Mr. Floyd and those who have lost loved ones due to the pandemic.

At Highmark Health, our resiliency continues to be tested as we manage through these trying times. In the wake of these recent tragedies, racial injustices, and the resulting public unrest — we are reaffirming our commitment to our employees, those we’re privileged to serve, and everyone in the communities in which we live and work.

We believe in and support equal justice under the law, people’s fundamental right to free speech and to peacefully assemble, and the importance of personal character and equity. And we will never condone violence.

Fundamental to our mission is a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and in helping to address social and health inequities. Differences — whether by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, customs, perspectives, or experience — reflect the communities we serve, make us stronger and more capable to meet the diverse needs of our members, patients, and customers. Inclusiveness blends different perspectives and ideas. It enables innovation, which will ultimately help us to build a health system that works better for all.

Our guiding principle is to have a workforce that reflects the diverse populations and demographics across our operating footprint. But we have more work to do if we are to fully deliver on our commitments to our workforce, customers and communities.

To that end, we've launched new programs focused on attracting, developing and retaining diverse talent. For example, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon and several other presenting sponsors and lead contributors in the Pittsburgh community, we helped to launch The Advanced Leadership Initiative (TALI) in January 2020. This partnership, which is focused on building the pipeline of African American executive leadership across the southwestern Pennsylvania region, has received national recognition for being an innovative model.

Our Supplier Diversity Program, which represents the full diversity of our customers and the communities that we serve, launched a successful Mentor Protégé Program pilot with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in an effort to be more intentional about the diverse suppliers we work with.

We’ve also stepped up our efforts to understand and address social determinants of health, so we can better serve our most vulnerable and underserved communities. In response to the pandemic, we opened testing and collection sites and activated AHN mobile units to bring COVID-19 testing and collection to Pittsburgh and Erie neighborhoods that lack ready access to health care facilities.

Highmark Health is committed to tolerance, respect, diversity and inclusion and to being a part of the solution on behalf of our workforce, customers and communities as we move forward together as a city, a region and country. Because it’s the right thing to do.

David Holmberg
President and CEO
Highmark Health

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