Fred Faust, principal of The Edge Group, Inc., a real estate brokerage and consulting firm, shares the following essay: This is a series about people in the Greater Lowell area who have taken initiative and achieved special things. Feel free to suggest others who should be so recognized and have interesting stories to tell.
In 1985, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler published a detailed and damning report on health disparities between white America and the rest of the population. The document, which has become known as the Heckler Report, sought to be “the generating force for an accelerated national assault on the persistent health disparities” between white Americans and the rest of the population.
We are saddened to learn of reports from some of our patients in the community that they are being harassed, discriminated against and, at times, even assaulted because of identifying as, or being perceived as Muslim. These unacceptable demonstrations of hatred are happening in local neighborhoods, on streets and in many other places throughout the community.
Unfortunately, these terrible acts are becoming more common, following recent, horrific events in Paris and San Bernardino, CA, coupled with a negative portrayal by many of all Muslims in and out of the United States. This is having a negative impact on the everyday lives of many of our patients who identify as Muslim.
As a Health Center, we value the rich diversity of our vibrant cultural heritages and religions. Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Our purpose is to offer the best quality care and service with great empathy, compassion, dignity and respect that our patients deserve regardless of their religious affiliation or background. This is also true for our entire Lowell Community Health Center community. We pride ourselves in providing linguistically and culturally appropriate care in a safe and peaceful environment.
We encourage everyone to stay informed and to reject hatred and bigotry. Let us stand together in unity and speak up to ensure that basic human rights are protected, so that our community can continue to thrive. As a Health Center, we will continue to offer all members of our community our support and warm welcome.
We, as an organization, will not tolerate any form of expression of hatred, religious or otherwise, by our staff or patients towards other members of the staff, patients or community.
Together, we will continue to work towards improving the overall well-being of all of our patients,
Dorcas, Rajesh, Sheila, Clare, Henry, Beth, Rubin, and Bob