Anger. Pain. Frustration. Sadness. Fear. These are only some of the many emotions after the tragic and senseless killing of George Floyd. Individually, and as a health system, we are heartbroken and denounce racism, bigotry and hatred in all forms.
We hear and feel the anger and pain of our workforce and of our community. We know the struggle for equality is disproportionately impacting people of color. As a Nation, our lack of progress on racial justice and equality is unacceptable. We must do better as a society.
Always remember that at John Muir Health, we value and take great pride in our diverse workforce. We believe that diversity is a strength, one that encourages learning from others, teamwork, dignity, and mutual respect. It’s an important part of who we are as a health system and is a reflection of the diversity of the communities we serve.
Our struggles under the weight of COVID-19, and the social and political unrest throughout the country, and in our very own communities, are leading to understandable frustration, anger and fear. These emotions are being expressed in many productive ways, such as peaceful protests, caring and compassion, and, for some individuals and small groups, in destructive ways, such as looting and violence.
The acts of a few will not distract from the broader message about racial justice and equality, inclusiveness, diversity, compassion and empathy that must be our way forward. We will continue to focus on health disparities in our community and we will be guided by our Mission to improve the health of the communities we serve with quality and compassion. As a well-known community leader, John Muir Health has an important role to support productive efforts at progress, while also acknowledging the very real pain we are feeling, and calling for calmness, compassion and empathy.
As we come together as a health system, our focus is also on the safety and well-being of our patients and our John Muir Health team. We are closely monitoring the schedule of planned protests and possible impacts on all facilities throughout our service areas, as well as the cities that are imposing curfews. Our security presence has been heightened throughout our hospitals, outpatient centers and administrative offices. Entrances to all facilities are being strictly monitored. Please ensure that all visitors, staff and physicians have appropriate identification and notify Security if you have any concerns.
This is a very difficult time for us all and words seem insufficient with the magnitude of what is taking place. We need to acknowledge that and lean on each other for support.
Please take care of yourselves and your families, and please be safe.
“We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.” Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General.
With love and compassion,
President and CEO
John Muir Health