Healthcare design and operations have a significant impact on community and environmental health. It is well understood within healthcare spheres that social and environmental determinants are the largest influences to individual health. Across the nation, hospitals and health systems are leveraging their economic positions and moral standing in communities to address our climate emergency and support livable economies for all and future generations. In Duluth, Vision Northland should not only include, but lead in the promotion of environmental health and justice by modeling environmentally sustainable, economically and environmentally just practices for the broader society and global community.
Finally, we believe and recommend that the Essentia Vision Northland (VNL) project and future operations must include a recognition of the disproportionate burdens and health inequities that people of color bear and that this understanding and a commitment to environmental equity be made explicit as a VNL goal as well as future Essentia operations goal.
We support the investments the project will bring forth for health and jobs. We ask that the city and project developers to consider increased conversations with stakeholders, and the social, economic and environmental impacts of the project on the communities overall health and how it impacts everyone living, working, and playing in Duluth.