By Roberto Muñiz
These have been challenging months for long-term care communities, as we strive to ensure the health and safety of our Elders, patients and staff in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While we remain focused on that situation and providing the highest quality care possible, this is a critical moment in our nation to take pause and comment on the violent incidents we have experienced this past few weeks. These, among countless other acts of violence against members of our society who have fallen victim to unjust brutality and discrimination, are senseless acts of violence. They are profoundly heartbreaking to me.
It pleases me to see so many of my colleagues in this field as well as other companies across America denounce these examples of racism and demand change. I stand with them.
As a member of an ethnic minority group, I clearly recognize and empathize with the depth of anguish that many people are feeling, and in particular, our Elders, participants, families and employees who are of minority descent. Please know that I grieve with you, stand in solidarity with you, and hope for a better tomorrow with you.
Yet it is not only what we do and say now. It is what we do and say when the headlines move on to other challenges facing our great country. That begins with having difficult conversations, whether they are related to racism, disability, or ageism. I am committed to continue to seek a better understanding of what it is like to experience discrimination in this country. I am very aware of the struggle, and unfortunately, I know what it’s like.
We all need to do more to fight not just racism but discrimination. That requires all of us to listen more attentively, to pose more questions and to ensure all our Elders, our employees and our families experience a community that never treats someone differently because of their race, gender, age, or religion.
And to all those who have been discriminated against across the country, please recognize that we see your ongoing struggle. We share your efforts to stand up for what is right. I pray for peace, compassion, tolerance, and greater justice in our nation.