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WellSpan President and CEO Shares Message of Humanity Against Hate and Violence

March 26, 2021

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WellSpan mourns the victims of last week’s murders in Georgia resulting in the loss of life of eight individuals, six of Asian descent. We also grieve for the loss of life of ten individuals in Boulder, Colorado as a result of this country’s latest mass shooting.

In healthcare, we exist for improving lives – and the loss of life in the past year, and this past week, calls for each of us to remember the human experiences we share. We mourn every time we learn of another instance of racism, xenophobia, bigotry, inequity, and injustice in our country, in our institutions, and in our communities. We mourn at senseless loss of life through violence.

Nearly 3,800 hate incidents have been reported against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide since last March, according to the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center. The escalation in incidents of violence, harassment and discrimination resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are unjust and unacceptable. We stand in solidarity with our Asian and Pacific Islander friends and neighbors in strongly denouncing and condemning xenophobia and racism in its many forms.

At WellSpan, our value of respect for all is one we hold out for our communities to embrace. We’ve strengthened our position as a healthcare system firmly committed to advancing a culture where every person feels welcomed, respected and valued, with policies that honor our diverse workforce and communities, and tools that support team members in identifying and rejecting patient bias.

We are working together, with community partners, to address issues of racism, inequity and violence and to make south central Pennsylvania a place where everyone can live healthier and more vibrant lives.

Remember, we are here to help. If you are struggling with stress, anxiety or depression, call our WellSpan Philhaven behavioral health experts who are available 24/7 by calling toll-free at 1-800-932-0359 or visit WellSpanPhilhaven.org for additional resources and information.

- Roxanna Gapstur, PhD, RN, President and CEO, WellSpan Health