Dear SPR and APS Members:
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a flashlight, illuminating and unmasking deep socio-economic and health care divides in our country, the terrible events surrounding the horrific murder of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis has spawned even greater outrage. As we all know, Mr. Floyd’s death is not an isolated incident, as there have been a tragic string of such deaths in recent years that further reflect deep issues regarding racism and systemic underlying causes of injustice. Unfortunately, the country’s inability to fully address these systemic foundations of injustice persist.
As pediatricians, child health advocates and as members of the SPR and APS, our mission is devoted to improving the health, well-being and long-term outcomes of our children and their families, and to play key roles in challenging inequities through advocacy and research. We accomplish this mission by uncovering and addressing fundamental problems related to injustice, and social and economic issues, especially as these negatively impact health care. Whether issues are related to adversities caused by child abuse, lead poisoning and toxic environmental exposures, or gun violence, issues of which pediatricians have always played a key role, we remain dedicated to exposing and developing strategies to tackle many problems in our society, especially those related to social disparities that impede the well-being of our children. Our organizations will continue to do better with addressing racism.
A critical goal of our academic pediatric societies is to address such issues through strengths with the many talents of our community and to play a pro-active role. As pediatricians, we are strongly committed to our core values of improving health care as individual practitioners and together, members of our societies. The SPR and APS fully espouse and support efforts to develop innovative strategies to challenge racism, just as readily as we support the highest values underlying research, education and training in our medical centers. We further support action to identify and eliminate the institutionalized racism that has held back our ability to achieve the highly valued goals and missions that we embrace. We need to express our abhorrence of such actions and the long delays in justice- lessons the country seems to never fully learn, and to work together in our communities and health care settings by increasing awareness of the adverse impacts on child health and well-being.
SPR and APS are committed to working together- at both the local level and nationally- to find and apply known and novel strategies to address the persistent forces of social injustice and disparities that impact our children, families and communities.