Breathe in unity: a message from HFSC’s Lynn RicciJune 5, 2020
The spiritual care team here at Hospital for Special Care provides spiritual guidance, support and comfort to our patients, their families and every member of the HFSC family. Sometimes overlooked, our chaplains and the partners they have engaged from every community of faith must never be undervalued.
Our spiritual care coordinator Tom Anderson describes this troubling epoch in our community as a breathless time for our society. The global pandemic, the social injustice and inequity embedded in our communities and the institutional oppression so heartbreakingly symbolized in one man’s cry to breathe lead many of us to feelings of anxiety, outrage, and fear.
What is happening in our world leaves us, leaves me, short of breath – and as any respiratory care patient who struggles to breathe can tell you – letting anxiety or fear take over exacerbates our challenges. As Pastor Tom has reminded me, and everyone at HFSC,
behind our masks, we’re all forced to be conscious
of our breathing as never before.
Here in Connecticut, as in Minnesota and so many other places in our country, many individuals of color, many individuals with less education or with less wealth, experience a very different life and have far fewer opportunities for success. The COVID-19 crisis has impacted communities of color disproportionately and with devastating consequences. These racial and ethnic disparities are not unique to this pandemic – but have existed within our health care systems for generations.
We can, as a community, unite across ethnic, cultural, racial, linguistic, gender identity, sexual orientation, political and religious differences to address the inequities and injustices in our health care system, in our economic and institutional hierarchies and in our neighborhoods. While I am extremely proud of our history of care to individuals facing seemingly insurmountable challenges – I know that we can and must do more. We will act to create change in access, in experience, and in outcomes – and I pledge to lead that charge here at HFSC.
Today, I join Pastor Tom, and our chaplains, in asking you, as you consider your own response to our national distress, as you consider the action you will take to contribute to a more just and equitable society, to remember to breathe.
Breathe in unity.
Breathe in action.
Breathe in prayer.