A Statement from SMHS and The GW MFA about the Tragic Events Surrounding the Death of George Floyd and Support of the National Medical Association's Call to Action to Address the Impact of Structural Racism on Law Enforcement Processes

Dear Colleagues,

As a community of students, educators, scientists, and healthcare providers committed to improving human health by all measures, we are appalled by the inhumane deadly force used by law officers on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN, that killed George Floyd. We recognize that this is but the most recent such tragic event. We acknowledge the anger, fear, and decimation of hope that such events create for citizens of color in our United States, as well as the grief and dismay being felt by many others in our nation.  

We call on the leaders of our community, region, and nation to recognize the immense and far reaching harm that such events cause. 

As an academic medical enterprise we support the calls to action of the National Medical Association to address the impact of structural racism on law enforcement processes as a step to address what has become a far reaching  societal and public health crisis. 

In the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the GW Medical Faculty Associates, we will press on in our goals to eradicate racism, implicit bias, and inequity in our internal community and for all of the patients we serve, knowing that we have not yet achieved those goals. 

We call on each of you to personally commit to supporting the goals of justice and equity for all of our citizens in all aspects of their lives, so that all may enjoy the freedom and opportunity that makes this country strong. The deep wound of racism cannot continue to fester. It requires that we each become an anti-racist.

During this frightening time, we ask that you practice compassion and radical empathy for our colleagues who have been disproportionately impacted by these events.  

Many in our SMHS and MFA community are in distress as a result of the events occurring in our nation. We are committed to providing support to you during these heart wrenching times. Please feel free to reach out to the Office of Diversity & Inclusion for information and additional resources.

Students who are experiencing distress and seeking support may contact the GW Counseling and Psychological Services to speak with a counselor. 

GW University Employees who are experiencing distress can contact the Wellbeing Hotline: (866) 522-8509

MFA Employees who are experiencing distress can contact SupportLinc. Call: 888-881-LINC (5462)

Visit: SupportLinc (username: mymfa)

We grieve with those who suffer at this time. Please know that we are here to do our best to provide support and work endlessly to remove racism from our lived experiences.

Sincerely,

Barbara L. Bass, MD, FACS Vice President for Health Affairs Dean, GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences CEO, The GW Medical Faculty Associates

Yolanda Haywood, MD Interim Senior Associate Dean for Diversity & Faculty Affairs Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine

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