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Family Health Center of Worcester Joins “White Coats for Black Lives” Movement

June 05, 2020

Worcester, MA – Last Friday dozens of clinical and administrative staff from Family Health Center of Worcester participated in the national “White Coats for Black Lives” movement, observing 10 minutes of silence to remember George Floyd and other victims of racial violence.  Staff lined the parking lots outside of 26 Queen Street holding signs or kneeling as a sign of solidarity with peaceful protesters around the country.  Some carried signs that included “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice for All.”  

“Family Health Center of Worcester unequivocally condemns all acts of violence and oppression,” said Louis Brady, Family Health Center’s President and CEO. “Community Health Centers were built on the bedrock principles of equality and respect, and access to health care for all in need regardless of income or race or any other difference we may have.”  Racial health disparities have been clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, where across the country African American mortality has been much higher than white mortality from the virus. “We are more than a health care organization; we are a force for social justice,” said Brady.

Family Health Center’s participation in this event was “in solidarity for racial justice, alongside our Worcester and national health care partners,” according to Dr. Valerie Pietry, Chief Medical Officer.  “As health care providers, we have a dual role in this event in standing for justice and health equity, and also demonstrating the importance of stopping the spread of COVID, which in itself is disproportionately impacting communities of color.”  Staff maintained 10-feet of social distance during the stand-out.

Family Health Center of Worcester is a HRSA-recognized National Quality Leader, providing comprehensive health services to all residents of Worcester and surrounding areas. Family Health Center of Worcester is a Joint Commission accredited, Federally Qualified Health Center whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of all residents in the Greater Worcester area, especially culturally-diverse populations, by providing access to affordable, high quality, integrated, comprehensive, and respectful primary health care and social services, regardless of patients’ ability to pay. Family Health Center provides services for more than 35,000 area residents in 55 languages.

The White Coats for Black Lives movement originated in 2014 by a group of medical students at the University of California San Francisco. The purpose of the movement was to bring attention to racial health care disparities after the grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers who were involved in the deaths of two unarmed African American men, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York City. The movement is seeing a resurgence in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. 

For more information about Family Health Center of Worcester, please visit: www.FHCW.org or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FamilyHealthCenterofWorcester. 

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