Whatcom County Board of Health Adopts Resolution
Recognizing Racism as a Public Health Crisis
The Whatcom County Council, acting as the Health Board, passed a resolution affirming that racism constitutes a public health crisis in Whatcom County, joining other cities and counties across the state and the nation with this resolution and committing to take steps toward racial equity.
“The first step in healing is to recognize and diagnose the symptoms,” said Barry Buchanan, Chair of the Whatcom County Council and Health Board. “The data clearly show disparities in health outcomes for diverse communities. This resolution helps us to acknowledge those disparities and begin the healing process, and take actions to correct these societal flaws.”
The Public Health Advisory Board, working closely with the Whatcom County Health Department, drafted the resolution and presented it to the Health Board for consideration in early October. “This resolution is a critical step that will set the stage for the health department’s work toward undoing racism and the foundational effects it has on health and well-being,” said Health Department Director Erika Lautenbach.
“Affirming that racism is a public health crisis allows us to acknowledge that racism is built into our systems, invites accountability, and allows us to take action,” said Councilmember Carol Frazey, Chair of the Public Works and Health Committee. “Now we can begin to work together toward racial equity, justice, and better health outcomes.”
See full press release here...