Message for Patients and Families

June 5, 2020

The last three months have been a rollercoaster of emotion for all of us, but especially for you as patients and families of the CHOP Cancer Center. Two weeks ago, we thought that we were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of the COVID pandemic, but things have changed dramatically since then. Tragically, our nation has faced a series of senseless killings of Black Americans, including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and most recently George Floyd. In response, there have been protests around the country led, as such things usually are, by youth.  We are proud that many of our patients and families, along with our doctors, nurses and other team members, and many of their teenage and young adult children, have joined in peaceful protests.  We have been gratified to see the multiracial, multicultural and multigenerational nature of the protests, which we hope will lead to real and meaningful change. Sadly, these protests have also attracted a small nefarious faction not at all interested in peaceful advocacy, but rather in plundering. This destructive element has had an outsized negative impact on minority communities already reeling from systemic racism, socioeconomic stress and higher rates of COVID infection and mortality. We know that as a result of the COVID pandemic and civil unrest many American families, and patients and families treated in our Cancer Center, are experiencing a heightened level of anxiety about the divided state of our nation, the physical and financial security of their families, and the health of their children. We want you to know that, while we cannot fix all of these problems, we are here to listen to your concerns and your fears and to help in any way that we can. If you need support during these challenging times, please reach out to our doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers, or any member of our Cancer Center team. We will do our best to help, not only with your medical needs but also with care for the overall health of you and your families.

Stephen Hunger, MD, Director, CHOP Oncology Program

Anne Reilly, MD, Medical Director, CHOP Oncology Program

Lamia Barakat, PhD, Director, CHOP Cancer Center Psychosocial Services

Mary Anne Kent, RN, BSN, MHA, Director, CHOP Cancer Center Nursing

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