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A Rainbow of Hands Reaching for Equality

What We Are Called to Do: A Message from the LHC President

Dear Patients, Colleagues, and Community,

 

As health centers, we have historically used our platform solely to share health guidance from our provider experts, but in the midst of this vital cultural conversation around systemic racism and the inexcusable deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many other Black Americans and POC, we want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the pain we are all feeling and reiterate the values the Laurel Health Centers were founded on.

 

Our organization was founded to serve all patients equally with compassion, integrity, and expert care. Patients are at the center of everything we do. In both our care delivery and our hiring practices, we are firmly against discrimination of any kind and have policies in place to ensure an inclusive, supportive environment. We expect our staff to treat all patients and one another by the platinum rule: treat others as they wish to be treated—namely with respect, integrity, kindness, equality, and empathy.

 

Laurel Health took time in these initial conversations to listen, reflect and communicate with our employees before issuing a statement publicly, but we do not want silence to be mistaken for complacency, ignorance, or inaction—nor do we want to offer our employees and patients vague platitudes that feel hollow or empty. In this moment, we seek to listen to and amplify our most powerful agent for change: our people. We have encouraged all our employees to take this time to talk through their feelings. To listen, research, and learn. To have candid, meaningful, and tough conversations about how we as individuals and as an organization can challenge bias, remove inequities, and make a lasting impact to build a truly inclusive, equal society.

 

2020 has been an unprecedented time of change for many of us, much of it abrupt and searing. Our communities are hurting. From the hardship of COVID-19 to the harrowing new tragedies laying bare the racial injustice and everyday bias still embedded in our nation, the amount of pain, anger, and desperation we’re feeling can be overwhelming. If you are grappling with feelings of hopelessness, depression, fear, anxiety, or anger, you are not alone, and our Laurel Behavioral Health team is here to help you reflect, process, and take action. To talk to our LBH team, please call 570-723-0620.

 

As healthcare providers, we know racism has a devastating impact on patients' health and contributes to the healthcare disparities we pledge to overcome in serving our communities. The Laurel Health Centers believe in providing expert healthcare to all patients, and we know a culture of inclusion, equality, empathy, respect, and action not only makes our healthcare team stronger, but the community as a whole—and it is a vital step in moving forward to a place that provides equal opportunities and treats everyone with dignity, respect, and compassion.

 

We remain committed to addressing health disparities in our communities and providing quality access to care for underserved and vulnerable populations throughout Tioga County and beyond.

 

Sincerely,

James A. Nobles, MPH, President & CEO
North Penn Comprehensive Health Services
The Laurel Health Centers

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