Frank Proscia, M.D., President of Doctors Council Statement on the Killing of George Floyd

When we say that Doctors Council members take care of everyone regardless of who you are and where you are from that also includes race.  We care about all our patients and communities not just when they are in front of us but their whole lives.  The same way that we proudly provide care to our patients and services to those we care for, we do so through diversity and inclusion.  Our compassion and empathy extends to each and every person and against bias, discrimination and hatred.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and all impacted by the needless and senseless death of George Floyd.  All those responsible for the killing of George Floyd must be held responsible.

But as the protests point out, there is more at stake in addition to the killing of George Floyd.  The continued social and economic racial inequalities and injustices must be addressed now by us as a society.  Our patients and communities deserve better.  We have seen how communities of color were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  Justice in all forms, including social and health, must be forthcoming.  All of us, and especially our elected officials, must step up to make this change.  Racist policies and the violence against communities of color must end.

We must come together across our differences to fight for a better future for all families. We cannot achieve justice without racial justice—they are inextricably linked.  We cannot be silent. We will continue to use our collective voices to speak out against the consistent violence inflicted upon Black people and other communities of color.

We must choose to make this moment a turning point so that no one feels they can take another person’s life for granted.  The killing of George Floyd and too many lives before him must matter and result in meaningful and sustained change.  It cannot continue that minorities, particularly African Americans, are abused and killed because of their race.  We must press for accountability and systemic changes.

We are all entitled to basic rights, no matter where we are from or the color of our skin.  Every person has a right to dignity, respect, safety and health.  Health disparities by race and ethnicity exist in our health systems and society.  Racism, racial violence and racial health inequality are public health emergencies.  We hope that the voices calling for real change are heard and acted upon, that we do not go back to the status quo, and that this tragic moment becomes one that inspires us all not to just to examine who we are as an individual person but who we are as a society and country.  We can do better.  We must do better.  George Floyd deserves that.

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