Dear Frederick Health Family & Our Frederick Community,
As an organization dedicated to serving others, we are always focused on
doing what is right. Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic
status, or any other diverse characteristics; we work hard every day to
eliminate intentional or unintentional bias in how we treat patients,
visitors, and members of our team. Yet all of us can have blind spots;
promoting justice and equity for all members of our community requires
acknowledgement that the killing of George Floyd broke a dam of longstanding
frustration at the injustice impacting our Black Community and by extension,
all of us.
Frederick Health is committed to addressing the effects of inequity and
developing collaborative solutions that point our community toward a healthier
future. Beyond the walls of our organization, we work to break down barriers
to care, identify and diminish health disparities, and create an environment
of health equity for all.
Recently, we have all been focused on responding to COVID-19 and providing
critical care and support to those in need. Our efforts have gone well
beyond our walls to include providing supplies and PPE to a local provider
treating dozens of predominantly Latino patients, working with our County
Health Department to increase testing and support for disproportionately
affected Black and Latino communities, strongly advocating for adequate
shelter and care for the homeless and those in long-term care facilities,
and offering free screening and testing to anyone in need.
Beyond COVID-19, today we also face the additional burden of uncertainty,
stress, and fear as communities across the nation struggle to understand
and respond to the senseless violence we have witnessed against people
of color. At times like this, we must not only pause and acknowledge the
inequity, but also speak up and provide support through words of affirmation,
a listening ear, and space to grieve-even if that means stepping out of
our comfort zone. Frederick Health condemns violence, racism, and hatred.
Whether someone is seeking care from our organization, serving as part
of our team, or simply residing within our community; everyone has the
right to feel safe, supported, and welcome. Everyone also has the right
to peacefully assemble, and every day this week in Frederick City there
will be purposeful demonstrations to point out the need for equal justice
in our County and our Country. During these events, we will be prepared,
as we always are, to provide a safe haven for those seeking our services.
In the words of our Founder, Emma Smith, we will be here to provide “care
for the sick, comfort for the injured, and peace of mind”.
Through our shared voices and diverse perspectives, we all play an important
role in improving the health and safety of the community we serve. Frederick
Health’s mission is to positively impact the well-being of every
individual in our community. By working together and standing with those
who seek to eliminate injustice in our society, I am confident that we
will continue to thrive.
Thomas A. Kleinhanzl
President and CEO