What AVIA Stands For

Linda Finkel, President, AVIA

AVIA stands in solidarity with our Black team members, partners, and the entire Black community and in protest against racism and police violence. 

The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are recent crimes in a long and tragic history of anti-Black violence. Far too often, the Black experience is an imminently dangerous one. It is also a catalyzing force to tackle long-standing inequities and make specific and widespread impact.

AVIA is on a journey to respond specifically to systemic racism, inequality, and anti-Black violence. We are early on this path, but want to publicly share our initial thoughts and actions. 

Our mission 

Inclusivity and equity have always been, and will continue to be, at the heart of our mission to transform care in our country. There is so much more to do. Tragic racial inequities continue to play far too great of a role in access to quality healthcare and as a predictor of health. In 2020, how is it possible that Chicagoans who live 23 miles apart have a difference in life expectancy of 30 years? How is it possible that a Black woman is three times more likely to die in childbirth than a white woman or that a Black baby is twice as likely to die before its first birthday? And how is it possible that COVID-19 is three times more deadly for Blacks than whites? The work we do with our health systems and partners to improve access to care, reduce health disparities, and ensure high quality care for everyone has never felt more critical. 

Our pledge

In our digital transformation work with health systems, we’ve often used the phrase “the time to act is now.” This phrase takes on new meaning in this moment and in our work inside AVIA. This week, we have been listening to AVIA’s collective voices and especially our Black voices. At our Town Hall on Monday, we will lay the groundwork for a sustained and long-term journey to bring these statements to life. AVIA stands for:

  • Living our values so they are not just words on paper.
  • Condemning racial injustices so the lives of our Black community are no longer put in jeopardy every day.
  • Removing entrenched inequities so we see the totality of a person is not defined by color. 
  • Understanding the full spectrum of the Black experience so Black individuals do not have to carry the singular burden of teaching us what we should already know.  
  • Supporting Anti-Racism so it is recognized that Diversity and Inclusion, while critical, are only the beginning of the conversation and a part of the solutions.
  • Applying our talent and energy so we do not just eliminate disparities, but create equitable opportunities, in communities of color.
  • Acting with conviction so this pivotal moment results in durable systemic change.
  • Speaking truth so prejudice and hatred are replaced with appreciation and love.

At AVIA we are called to create a radically different future.

We are all capable of more than our history, past and present.

We can do better. We must be better.