May 2022 may be the first time in my 57 years that I’ve deeply appreciated the arrival of spring. Yes, spring officially began in March but it was still a little cold and dark. April brought warm days and the beauty of the early flowers, along with our annual blanket of pollen. This May as new growth is all around us, I feel hope stirring through all the heaviness in our communities and our world. It is with hope that I appeal to you to continue with us in the decades long work of the Council seeking the realization of healthcare as a human right.
As director of the Partners in Health and Wholeness program, I am humbled every day by the work of faith communities across North Carolina. You have always been what we now call “essential workers” as you provided food, clothing, and financial support to the people most impacted by the pandemic. You sat in parking lots and helped children connect to their schools through your broadband connections. You set up virtual services when that was a new concept for many, because you understood the desperate need for spiritual connection. And, over 200 of you answered our call when our state needed places to administer life saving vaccinations. We were inspired by you and it kept us striving for ways to support your work in new ways.
Those of us involved in healthcare in NC know the COVID pandemic didn’t cause the healthcare system to falter, it laid bare the inequities that have existed all along. Together we have done and will continue to do good work to fill in the gaps but those gaps are widening quickly. Health metrics, including the average lifespan, are going in the wrong direction.
With your support, we will work to achieve equitable health outcomes for all of our families, friends, and communities. Some of our initiatives include:
- Advocating for the expansion of Medicaid in NC. The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2014. NC is one of only 12 states that have chosen not to expand. This one policy will ensure access to primary care to over 600,000 North Carolinians.
- Pushing back on the misinformation campaign about the cost and the benefits of
- universal healthcare. The US joins South Africa, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and China in not having a universal healthcare system.
- Eliminating the racist and failed war on drugs that have done nothing but result in the highest rates of deaths by unintentional overdose. Overdose deaths among our youth have almost doubled in the past two years.
- Eliminate the stigma and shame around seeking mental health care.
Ensuring that each and every one of God’s people has access to and can afford quality healthcare is a justice issue. We stand firmly behind the example of Jesus, who did more healing than preaching throughout his ministry.
As people of faith and conscience, we pledge to act to ensure there is equity in one of the most basic human needs. Please join us by contributing your time to learn more and become involved in this work, by considering a financial contribution to the work as you are able and led, and with your prayers and encouragement for all the people working to improve healthcare access in NC. Click here to donate.