A major North Carolina health system has gone woke. An anonymous stakeholder at Cone Health showed us how the large network of hospitals and medical centers in the Greensboro area is pushing doctors, nurses, and staff to make radical ideology a core part of their work.
The concerned individual sent us several examples showing Cone Health’s descent into identity politics. It has set the tone that everyone it employs must get on board with divisive concepts. A recent email sent to all staff members states: “Creating a Cone Health where diversity, equity and inclusion are our way of being requires all of us to commit to this marathon together… we all own this vision, and we must walk the walk and take action.”
Beyond the rhetoric, Cone Health is pushing employees to participate in specific activities, including:
- Participate in “Groundwater Approach Webinars.” These 3-hour information sessions are focused on the concept of “racial equity.” The Groundwater Approach was developed by the Racial Equity Institute, which is devoted to making people “understand racism and effectively begin dismantling it.” According to Cone’s 2021 DEI annual report, 430 team members have gone through the module. This is woke indoctrination, pure and simple.
- Reserve COVID treatments for minorities. Cone set a goal to “dedicate 35% of vaccines to the Black and brown communities.” They “exceeded” the goal with the “actual allotment of 38% of vaccinations” according to their 2021 DEI annual report. Such preferential treatment is a form of racial discrimination.
- Join an “Inclusion Network Group.” One such group “supports work to mitigate health disparities in the Black community and promote health equity.” Upon joining the organization, new employees are also encouraged to become involved with the associated inclusion councils. This is another form of woke indoctrination.
- Read woke books. Recommendations from the Cone Health reading list include Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, Waking Up White by Debby Irving, and How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. These books are grounded in radical ideology, not medicine.
- Complete learning modules that promote DEI. In 2021, several thousand employees and leaders at Cone Health completed courses titled Exploring Everyday Bias and Invisible Influencers. These events undermine patient trust in healthcare.
- Be a “changemaker.” The 2021 Cone Health DEI Report encourages employees and organizational leaders to participate in “hardwiring DEI into everything we do” during 2022 by applying “an equity lens” to achieve the organization’s vision. This encourages staff to be political activists, not healthcare professionals.
By forcing these principles onto doctors, nurses, and staff members, Cone Health is injecting dangerous and divisive ideas into its hospitals and clinics, which undermines patient trust. Cone Health should be empowering doctors and nurses to do their jobs at the highest level, not lowering itself by focusing on identity politics.
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