It was formed in response to the recognition that systemic racism affects every aspect of our lives and of our patients’ lives, and that racism is a health crisis in our state. This task force aims to identify and address the effects of racism upon our members, our profession and our patients, and we expect to expand this task force to achieve greater justice, equity, diversity and inclusion generally.
This task force will strive to address justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in terms of measurable, strategic and achievable goals through the work of this task force. Through this task force, we will identify areas in which the Wisconsin Medical Society has made progress in promoting justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, so as to reinforce and strengthen those areas, and the areas in which the Society needs to do work and grow. The goals of this task force will change and grow as needed to best meet the Society’s needs in achieving greater justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
The below definitions will act to guide goals we aim to achieve in this task force. We note that these definitions, and the goals of this task force, may change over time as we learn more and as the needs of WisMed members and Wisconsin patients evolve.
- Justice — Justice is the ethical principle that guides the distribution of burdens and benefits in health care and in society, ensuring that no person or group is treated unfairly. Justice demands consideration of actions taken in the past as well as the present and how these will affect the future, with an emphasis on correcting past and current inequities and preventing future ones. The principle of justice is a strong motivator for reform within our society at large, our health care system, and our Medical Society.
- Equity — We strive to ensure that all members of the Wisconsin Medical Society and all patients and communities we serve have access to equitable opportunities and can attain their full potential to the extent possible, by promoting fair treatment and proactively working to remove barriers that prevent full participation by all. Equity is not achieved by treating everyone equally but rather by treating everyone equitably.
- Diversity — Diversity is the collective mixture of differences and similarities that includes individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, and behaviors. It encompasses our personal and professional histories that frame how we see the world, collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders, and serve communities. This Task Force does not regard this as an exhaustive list of factors that define diversity, which is a dynamic and expansive entity, but as a starting point for this vital work.
- Inclusion — Inclusion is achieved by nurturing the climate and culture of the institution through professional development, education, policy and practice. The objective of inclusion is to create a climate that fosters belonging and shared respect and value for all, celebrates differences, diversity and growth, and encourages engagement and connection throughout the institution and community.