A group that represents North Carolina's 130 hospitals has joined a growing number of organizations and governments that have declared racism to be a public health crisis.
The Raleigh News & Observer reported Wednesday that the North Carolina Healthcare Association has pledged to work harder to provide equitable care to everyone.
The association said that challenges to achieving that goal are barriers to employment, education and economic opportunity that people face because of their race.
The resolution from the North Carolina hospitals association also refers to the coronavirus pandemic and long-term health disparities that "impact people of color and other marginalized groups."
"Persistent racism, one of several social injustices driving widening disparities of care disproportionately harming people of color, is an urgent threat to our public health in North Carolina," the association wrote in a statement. "It's time to elevate this issue to mission critical status."
Local and state governments across the country have approved similar resolutions. In North Carolina, they include officials in Wake, Durham and Mecklenburg counties.
The declarations fall in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis. His death has contributed to a renewed focus in many parts of the country on racial equality.