COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Equitas Health announced it will begin an investigation into claims of racism and racial discrimination raised by current and former employees in a media report last week.
The Equitas Health Board of Trustees announced Tuesday it is appointing an independent investigator “who will conduct a thorough, impartial internal investigation into the culture at Equitas Health,” the board announced in a statement.
Equitas Health is a nonprofit healthcare system that provides health services to the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS community, operating 21 offices in 13 cities across three states including Ohio. Headquartered in Columbus, Equitas currently employs approximately 500 workers, according to the company’s Linkedin profile.
In its statement, the board said it is establishing a way for employees to come forward with any information pertinent to the discrimination investigation.
“The Board will take appropriate action based on the findings of this internal investigation, and with humility, we ask for grace as we take this opportunity to address these concerns and earn the trust of our staff, our clients, and our communities,” the board wrote in its statement.
The move comes after it was reported last week that both current and former employees were the subject of discrimination based on race. Those former employees also allege discrimination complaints were not taken seriously by company management.
On Oct. 7, Equitas Health announced it would be hiring a Chief People and Culture Officer to oversee “culture, human resources, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
“We cannot — and will not — ignore the historical and current impact that our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) stakeholders are feeling,” the company wrote in the Oct. 7 statement. “To that end, Equitas Health acknowledges the impact white supremacy culture and structural racism has on the BIPOC community, members of historically minoritized communities in America and in the workplace. Equitas Health acknowledges the exclusion of BIPOC people from the greater LGBTQ+ community. Equitas Health apologizes for any role we had in perpetuating such.”
Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin posted the following statement Tuesday: