The following message was sent to all UMMS employees and medical staff.

June 1, 2020

Dear UMMS Colleagues:

The past several months have presented all of us with an unprecedented challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the routines of our lives, and required us to demonstrate our willingness and ability to act together in order to provide for the greater good of society. During these times, we, as the University of Maryland Medical System, have come together with our key partners to answer the call for our communities at the time of their greatest need. Our collective response has been a tremendous source of pride as we have witnessed selfless acts of heroism, compassion and a foundational respect for the dignity of life.

Perhaps it is for this very reason that I am so profoundly disturbed by the death of George Floyd. The complete lack of human dignity that is seen on the video images has once again shocked our collective conscience and serves as a clear demonstration of the inequity that exists within our nation. As a singular voice, we must be willing to stand up, and deliver the clear message that this cannot be tolerated. We must lend our support to the growing sentiment that now is the time to say enough. I often talk about the principle of accountability, and I believe as an organization of 28,000 we must commit to act. We can no longer let the deaths of black men and women like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery occur and then respond by hoping that this is the last time we will see such lack of humanity. We need to speak their names and continue to be purposeful in our conversations and expectations for those who are privileged to lead.

So I am asking us to come together as a community. Please reach out to those who you know are hurting and provide comfort by both words and action. Let us be willing to engage in challenging dialogue to advance our collective understanding of the disproportionate impact of social injustice and structural racism. Across the entire Health System, every organization holds dear the values of respect and dignity for those who we are privileged to serve. Let us commit ourselves, as individuals and as an organization, to hold each other accountable for driving this needed change. Let us show our communities that compassion, dignity and respect are the foundation of who we are, and as such, will be the expectations we have for all segments of our society.

Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
University of Maryland Medical System
The Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Professor of Radiation Oncology
University of Maryland School of Medicine