As I am sure many of you are, I am deeply saddened by recent events in our nation that, once again, have underscored how far we are from achieving a truly inclusive society. None of us should have to fear for our lives when interacting with others—or while in the privacy of our own homes. While hate and racism are part of our nation’s history, they have no place in shaping our country’s future.
As we navigate through these challenging times and the troubling death of George Floyd, we are committed as leaders to partner with our communities to improve the health and well-being of all. Every voice needs to be heard. Every individual needs the chance to develop and follow their dream. Every group has the right to be free from persecution. Working together, we can achieve these ideals.
As part of an institution that places a high value on diversity, compassion and respect, we must all take time to listen to each other and to seek to understand the struggles and challenges others face—particularly those who historically have been marginalized.
We all still have important work to do, in helping dismantle decades of ingrained division. While we are distressed by the events in Kentucky, Georgia, New York, Minnesota and elsewhere across the country, we remain committed to the UTMB values we have adopted. We will continue to promote active, intentional and ongoing engagement to ensure diversity among our people, in our curriculum and our research, and in the communities we serve.
It is my commitment to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for everyone who works, studies or seeks care here at UTMB. Working together, we can help heal divisions and build a stronger, more inclusive community.
Ben G. Raimer, MD, MA, FAAP
President ad interim