News | one year ago

Atrium Health Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Atrium Health honors the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and sponsors community events for teammates to help push King’s legacy forward throughout Atrium Health and in the community.

As part of Atrium Health’s Culture Commitments to create a space where all belong and as part of its mission to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all – Atrium Health takes part each year in a month of celebration to commemorate the life and mission of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“The beginning of a new year is usually marked by goal setting and the creation of new year’s resolutions. This month is also a time to reflect on the courageous journey for racial and social justice across the nation, as many prepare to honor and commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.,” says Fernando Little, vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Atrium Health. “This year the Rev. King’s family reminds us that cultivating a community mindset starts with an individual commitment to make a difference.”

In a message to teammates at Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health, which are now part of the newly combined Advocate Health, Advocate Health CEOs Eugene A. Woods and Jim Skogsbergh thanked teammates for their commitment to honoring King’s legacy by taking part in community events. 

“And now, as one organization, we are committed to eliminating the root causes of health inequity and driving meaningful social impact for the patients and communities we are privileged to serve,” Woods and Skogsbergh wrote. “By bringing together our shared strengths, expertise, values and vision, we can do more, better and faster, while honoring Dr. King’s legacy of equity and inclusion for all.”

The city of Charlotte and its community relations committee recently honored Woods with the coveted MLK “Growing the Dream” Award. Woods was recognized alongside Bank of America’s Kieth Cockrell and Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison as leaders who foster unity, promote diversity and create upward mobility for our community. 

Growing the Dream Award

From left to right: Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison, Atrium Health President and CEO Eugene A. Woods, Bank of America Charlotte President Kieth Cockrell 

King was a Baptist minister and social activist who made a profound impact on the civil rights movement of the 1950s in the United States. He was assassinated in 1968 and is widely remembered for his nonviolent protests against segregation and his iconicI Have a Dream speech. To honor King’s legacy, in 1983, former President Ronald Reagan signed into law that the third Monday in January would be designated a public holiday in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Three years later it was observed for the first time. By the year 2000, all 50 states officially observed the national holiday.

Atrium Health honors King’s life and his legacy and proudly sponsors community events for teammates to help push King’s legacy forward throughout Atrium Health and in the community. There are several events teammates can participate in this year.

“At Atrium Health, we are working to transform health care and ensure health equity for all,” says Lois Ingland, vice president of community engagement and corporate responsibility. “King fought for systemic change and his example is our call to action. MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service. Our Atrium Health Serves programs provide opportunities for teammates to improve their communities through volunteerism.”   

Atrium Health Teammates Celebrate MLK Day