A Message from Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Chairman and CEO to Our Community
To Our Community:
I am writing with a heavy heart, and I’m sure many in our community share my feelings. The senseless deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and George Floyd in Minnesota are tragic. These events shine yet another spotlight on the longstanding systemic racism and injustices in our country — at a time when we are already in crisis with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Americans are hurting and the ongoing protests and recent events only begin to illustrate the deeply rooted pain and frustrations felt by so many.
At Virginia Mason, we believe in equity, inclusion and respect for people. We have a duty to ensure all individuals in our community can thrive, which is why we say, Black Lives Matter. We stand together in solidarity with our African American and minority colleagues, patients, and community members.
We also believe change can happen when we come together to take a stand and raise our voices. Our nation is not equal, and for far too many of our most vulnerable citizens, the inequities in this country are fatal. As long as this statement stands true, our communities cannot truly be healthy or well. Our country must right these wrongs so we can build a more just society where every individual has the opportunity to achieve success and live their healthiest life.
Each day that we interact with our communities, we have an opportunity to model change as we go. At Virginia Mason this work can begin in the exam room. It can begin in the emergency room or the operating room. Anywhere we may have an interpersonal encounter, our team members have an opportunity to demonstrate respect. Respected populations are healthier populations.
At Virginia Mason, we chose health care as our profession because we have a common purpose to help others, our broader communities, and to keep each other safe and healthy.
Virginia Mason stands with our entire community in the fight against racism and injustice.
Gary S. Kaplan, MD
Chairman and CEO
Virginia Mason Health System