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CMA adds ‘equity and justice’ to its mission statement

October 27, 2020

Topics: Quote of the Day

California Medical Association, October 24, 2020

The California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates today voted to edit the association’s Articles of Incorporation and include in its mission statement an overarching permanent goal of achieving health equity and justice.

“CMA must adopt permanent institutions and institutionalized policies, practices and programs that promote, support and make actionable our aspirational principles on health equity and justice in order to eliminate health inequities that undermine our state’s public health and collective well-being,” said Robert Wailes, M.D., Chair of the CMA Board of Trustees.

CMA’s Board of Trustees also this year created a permanent committee—the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) committee—to ensure that CMA continues to consider its actions through a health equity lens similar to CMA’s longstanding “public health” guiding principle.

CMA’s new mission statement is now as follows:

To promote the science and art of medicine, the care and well-being of patients, the protection of the public health, the betterment of the medical profession, and to achieve health equity and justice.



By Don McCanne, M.D.

For the California Medical Association to include achieving health equity and justice in their mission statement brings sharp focus to the need for reform of our health care delivery system. Although many improvements can be made, they would be difficult without first replacing our health care financing system with an infrastructure built on a foundation of health equity and justice.

Another important development in this age in which new attention is being directed to the pressing need to resolve social injustices is the establishment of the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) committee – a new permanent committee of the CMA.


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About the Commentator, Don McCanne

Don McCanne is a retired family practitioner who dedicated the 2nd phase of his career to speaking and writing extensively on single payer and related issues. He served as Physicians for a National Health Program president in 2002 and 2003, then as Senior Health Policy Fellow. For two decades, Don wrote "Quote of the Day", a daily health policy update which inspired HJM.

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