To all Montage Health staff,
These are unbelievably challenging times: In just the past three months, over 100,000 Americans have died from coronavirus. Unemployment is the highest it has been in decades. Businesses have closed. Schools have been shuttered. Many of us have had friends or family affected directly by the pandemic. People are understandably feeling vulnerable.
With these stressful events as a backdrop, we have now come face to face with another equally disturbing crisis: continued discrimination and social inequality. On the daily news, we watch disturbing images of George Floyd dying at the hands of a police officer. We read about Breonna Taylor, an EMT shot in her own home in Louisville, Kentucky, and another young man, Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed in Georgia while jogging. All were African Americans.
These events are not acceptable. They are not who we are as a country. All across our nation, and on the Monterey Peninsula, the place we call home, people are feeling pain, anger, despair and fear; this is particularly true for people of color who may be experiencing these emotions most acutely.
We need to acknowledge that and, now more than ever, we need to bring empathy, love and understanding to our work every single day. I recognize that bringing a warm smile and a reassuring touch is made even more difficult behind an anonymous face mask. But we must strive to do so. Social distancing cannot distance us from our own humanity.
At Community Hospital, our job is healing — physically and emotionally. Healing starts by acknowledging that people are in pain. We proudly carry the word “Community” in our name; we are a part of this community.
In our small community, whether or not you share where you work, you represent us. So, if you choose to engage on social media to express your opinions, please be a voice of positivity. Every individual can work toward promoting a fairer and more just society. But, please remember that your comments reflect on all of us — comments that are biased, inflammatory, or hateful are not consistent with our shared Montage Health values and will not be tolerated.
In these truly challenging and difficult times, we need to remember the values that brought us to healthcare in the first place. We need to call upon our better selves to support our coworkers, our patients, our family and friends, and our broader community. Together, we will get through this.
Steven Packer, MD
President/CEO Montage Health