Message from Emory Healthcare CEO Jonathan S. Lewin
April 20, 2021
Dear Members of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Community:
Following the trial of Derek Chauvin over the past few weeks has been an intensely emotional experience for many of us. Incidents of racially motivated violence such as the killing of George Floyd have shaken our very sense of who we are as a country and placed our nation’s ongoing challenges with inequality and social injustice at the forefront of our collective consciousness.
Like many of you, I have felt deep sorrow as I’ve watched these tragedies unfold across the country far too frequently. And, also like many of you, I felt very strong emotions upon hearing the Chauvin guilty verdicts. While it is rewarding to see accountability in this case, I recognize that there is still much work to be done before systemic racism and race-based inequity become a thing of the past in our country.
This case has deepened my personal and professional commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect for one another. I’m listening, I’m learning, and I’m working to help ensure these values are reflected in all that we do as an institution. We must make these efforts a top priority across all our missions.
While I offer my sincere thoughts and prayers to Mr. Floyd’s loved ones and to all who have been negatively affected by this trial and other recent events, I know that my wishes are simply not enough. On behalf of the entire Woodruff Health Sciences Center, I am determined to take meaningful action based on the values and principles upon which we have built this great academic health center of learning, discovery, and patient care.
As we work out the most impactful ways to make a difference, please know that we are in this together and that we are here to support each other. Emory’s Faculty/Staff Assistance Program (fsap.emory.edu) provides individual appointments by phone or Zoom if you or a loved one need help processing your emotions surrounding the Chauvin verdicts.
President Fenves speaks for us all when he says that “we have a responsibility to use our knowledge and talents and lead with our values.” Today, as we do every day, the faculty, staff, students, and supporters of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center stand together against racism, intolerance, and social injustice.
Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, FACR
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Emory University
Executive Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
CEO and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare