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June 2020

The leadership team at Children's National Hospital believes it is important to acknowledge the pain, anger, frustration and grief that so many of us are feeling at the inhumane actions that resulted in the death of George Floyd and many others before him. Tragic on its own, it is a stark example of the all-too-frequent injustices disproportionately affecting people of color in our society.

As health professionals, we see first-hand the toll that systemic racism has on individual health and wellbeing, while the collective impact affects us all. The impacts on children are particularly concerning to all of us at Children's National. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement last year highlighting racism as a core social determinant of health. Racism is driving significant health inequities for children and adolescents of color. A member of our faculty, pediatrician Danielle Dooley, was among the authors of this important statement, "Racism and Its Impact on Child and Adolescent Health." It makes a compelling case for how we, as child health professionals, must recognize the connection between this pervasive social issue and the health of children. 

We will continue to leverage our academic and advocacy efforts to address health disparities in our community. This week begins Community Health Improvement Week, which serves as an opportunity for dialogue with others on how to best address the many issues contributing to this public health crisis. 

This is also an enormously difficult moment for our nation. It is a time for all of us to come together and demonstrate our core values of compassion, commitment and connection to one another, our patients and families, and our community.