Studies show that only 20 percent of a person’s health is determined by the medical care they receive. The rest is determined by countless other factors in our social environments. We know that even if we provide the most compassionate, expert care, it is nearly impossible for a person to stay or become healthy if they don’t have access to healthy foods to eat, clean water to drink, clear air to breath, and safe places to exercise.
As we observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, I want to say how proud I am of the many, many ways you work to serve our communities, making them safer and healthier places for our patients, families, friends, and neighbors to live.
In Wake County, young people are coming together at the Boys and Girls Club to participate in community service projects. Our teammates are on hand to offer both flu shots and A1c screenings. In Rocky Mount – where Dr. King first used the phrase “I have a dream” in a speech – our teammates at UNC Nash will gather to celebrate his legacy before joining their neighbors from across Rocky Mount in service activities. Our teammates at UNC Rockingham will gather to clean up a local park. We have more teammates collecting food to donate to those in our communities who are hungry. These are just a few examples.
We all serve in our own ways, whether that is donating to a cause that is personally important to you, volunteering in our children’s schools, or within our places of worship. As North Carolina’s health system, we work each day to make our state a healthy place to live. Today, as we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I want to thank you for the spirit of service you exhibit each day, both at work and in your personal lives.