A Message for UH Physicians and Caregivers from
Chief Executive Officer Thomas F. Zenty III and President Cliff A. Megerian, MD, FACS
On Monday, May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an unarmed black man, lost his life at the hands of a police officer. It is a scene familiar to many in our country. In our own city, we recall the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old shot as he carried a toy gun in a local park. We are writing to you today to acknowledge the grief and despair our community feels.
We are saddened, and even outraged, by these events that have divided communities across our country, including our own. Our organization embraces diversity and inclusion as core values. We pledge to work at healing the people of our region, knowing that we have more in common than that which divides us.
Our first priority at this time is the safety of our caregivers and our patients. University Hospitals has continued services at all of our entities during the protests to provide the care our patients need. We also have offered caregivers who live in certain impacted Cleveland neighborhoods the option of free hotel lodging if they feel the need to temporarily relocate from their homes as a result of community lockdowns.
As we move forward, it is with sensitivity to the vital nature of the relationships that we build in our lives and the workplace. Our speak-up culture extends beyond the safety of clinical care to also include openness and respect for each other. To all African-Americans and people of color, we hear you and stand with you as part of the solution.
Our preparations for the COVID-19 pandemic are an example of what can be accomplished when we all work together. UH has rallied in support of African-Americans who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. Often, the journey to full success is long and labored. The progress that we have made, in society and within our health system, must continue.
UH has a role in unifying our community through our continuing efforts to expand access to care and through our aspirations to create an environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all. We are committed to addressing health disparities and structural racism that adversely affect outcomes. It’s up to each of us to help make a difference by treating all of our patients and colleagues with the care and compassion that are hallmarks of our health system.
Thank you for acting personally and professionally in ways that honor our health system and the many communities that we serve.