This has been a challenging time for at the staff of PPMC and for the world. Communities are not only navigating a pandemic and a strained economy, but also reckoning with the circumstances surrounding the civil unrest in Philadelphia and across the country.

Last month, members of the Penn Medicine community came together to honor George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others who have tragically lost their lives, not in isolated incidents, but as a result of systemic and institutional racism that impacts communities of color every day. In addition to a large Penn Medicine/CHOP event at Franklin Field, staff gathered at numerous other locations across the health system, including Presby’s PAC concourse and Myrin Circle.

Credit: Michael Martin (M. Martin Productions)

For 8 minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time that a Minneapolis police officer fatally kneeled on George Floyd’s neck — staff paused in remembrance. The protest was silent, but the message was loud and clear: Penn stands in solidarity with the Black community and with all people of color, in Philadelphia and beyond.

These demonstrations were organized with #WhiteCoatsForBlackLives, a movement that vows to eradicate racism and bias from medicine and health care, as well as to promote the health and well-being of Black and Brown communities.

“As doctors, nurses, and health care workers, we’re in a unique position help build a better, healthier society and to serve as a moral North Star for our community,” said Chief of Medicine Gregory Tino, MD, who helped organize the PPMC event with physicians Jorge Jo Kamimoto, MD, Claiborne Childs, MD, Farah Hussain, MD, and Jennifer Olenik, MD. “This event allowed us to not only show our unequivocal support for our colleagues of color, but also that Penn Presbyterian will continue to champion our patients and our West Philadelphia community.”

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