New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Dean Hoffman's Statement
            on the Death of George Floyd 

Message from Dean Hoffman –  Sunday, May 31, 2020

Dear Penn Vet community,

We are suffering as a nation, and as a community, over the shocking and unsettling death of Minneapolis resident Mr. George Floyd. Mr. Floyd’s passing echoes the ongoing senseless pattern of assault and death of those before him: Ms. Breonna Taylor, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, Mr. Botham Jean, and Mr. Eric Garner.

I know members of the Penn Vet community are hurting. Several of you have shared your anguish and grief about these events, especially of the last six days. And about the broader theme and open wounds that are visible at this very dark moment in our nation’s history: the failure of our criminal justice system, of our America, to commit fully to addressing systemic racism.

JFK expressed in his famous speech condemning the 1963 Birmingham bombings, that "the rights of all men are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened". In this moment, when an African-American man's life was extinguished in this way, our society, our Democracy, and our Declaration of Independence (“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”) fail to deliver on inclusivity, on equality, on the rights of all citizens. This diminishes us all.

Racism reveals itself across all facets of our society. This inequality compounds numerous and persistent health and social consequences, leading to higher fatalities within communities of color. This intractable and vexing facet of public health was worsened in the coronavirus pandemic. And the death of Mr. Floyd has made it even more profound, and unmistakable.

I am deeply troubled about the racial inequality across our country and the trauma that is unfolding in our city and in our nation’s communities over the weekend. And I am so profoundly sorry for the passing of Mr. Floyd, for his family’s anguish, and for the distress this is causing to Philadelphia's black community members. On behalf of all of Penn Vet, I humbly offer this: 'we feel for you, so let us offer our shoulder'. Penn Vet is an institution of learning, but we are also a hamlet of unity, of kinship, and of safety.

Penn Vet is unequivocally committed to the well-being of our community of color. If you are a person of color, if you are underrepresented or disadvantaged, we will care for you. We will do everything in our power to nourish you, keep you safe, treat you and your family with respect, and support you in whatever dreams you may have.

It is my desire that over the next decade, Penn Vet’s diversity, our inclusivity, our culture, ascends to be one of our most enduring legacies. Our committed Diversity Council is working hard to make this happen. I do hope you will join them, offer suggestions, and lend your ever-important voice.

Please be safe, and be well.

With my deepest regards,

Dean Andy Hoffman