On the 2016 Presidential Election
November 14, 2016
Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff:
As I reflect on the recent election and events that have unfolded in the subsequent days, I want to reach out to the Penn Medicine community and express my understanding of the many reactions, emotions, and concerns of our faculty, students, staff, and patients. I am keenly aware of the stress that many of you feel as we face a time of uncertainty and digest many months of often bitter dialogue and the accompanying acrimony that has persisted in the days since the election.
As communicated recently by President Gutmann and Provost Price, at Penn we have witnessed profoundly disturbing events on our campus in which minority groups have been targeted with racist messages. These and other events are shocking and disheartening for all of us, but undoubtedly weigh most heavily on those in our community who feel vulnerable to regression of the progress we have made in our core values of inclusion and diversity. I want to reassure you that we will not back down from our commitments to eliminate racism, misogyny, and all forms of bias, treating every member of our community with respect. Our trainees, staff, faculty, and patients deserve a safe, professional environment, and we encourage you to support one another and access Penn’s many support resources if you have concerns. Our culture of inclusion, collaboration, innovation, and resilience will serve us well in this time of uncertainty.
I have also heard from many of you who have questions about the policy implications of the leadership transition from President Obama to President-Elect Trump. In particular, there are concerns about the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and whether it will be repealed, replaced, or modified, and if so, how. Potential new policies may also affect our other missions, including research funding, immigration, women’s health, the VA, and support for GME, among other topics that have been debated over the last several months. We are monitoring the situation closely and remain deeply committed to shaping the conversation going forward and adapting effectively to changes in the external environment.
Regardless of your political ideology, there is much we can do to shape what happens at Penn Medicine, in our community, and in the world through our research, teaching, and service. Amongst our greatest strengths at Penn is our confidence in and reliance upon one another. We are united in our resolve to ease suffering and to cure disease, and together we will continue to make the world a better place.
With best regards,
J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD