Dear Children’s family,
Our hearts are heavy today. Our society—and our community—continues to battle against systemic racism and discrimination; at the same time, we’re on the frontlines, fighting a new pandemic. We need to recognize that many members of our team are hurting right now—some more acutely and directly than others. We are surrounded by colleagues of color who are cut deep by recent tragedies and current tensions; they are grieving and they are weary. Let’s rally around these friends and coworkers, and offer them open ears and caring support.
This message is meant to detail how Children’s is responding—today, and more broadly—and help equip you with information.
Most immediately, we need to reinforce that safety is our top priority and that we are taking proactive steps to keep our staff, patients and families safe. With safety in mind, and out of an abundance of caution, we are closing our Omaha metro Children’s Physicians offices and all Omaha and Lincoln outpatient locations by 4 p.m. today. Our Urgent Care at West Village Pointe also will be closed this evening; if a patient family has an urgent health need or emergency, they should be immediately referred to Children’s Emergency Department.
To ensure the safety of our team, patients and families, there will be expanded and enhanced security measures in place on Children’s main campus this evening and overnight.
- Security officers will be stationed at our P3, employee and SPC parking garage entrances, as well as at all masking stations.
- The main hospital and Emergency Department entrances will have extra Security presence.
- A mobile Security unit will be patrolling the entire campus, including the Carolyn Scott Rainbow House.
- Children’s Security is in communication with the Methodist Security team to collaborate and ensure our NICU team members are safe and secure overnight.
- Staff members seeking overnight accommodations should call the House Supervisor at 402-955-7901.
Your safety is of utmost importance to us. If you feel unsafe at any time and need to contact Security, please call 402-955-5300. We thank everyone for their cooperation and support as we do our very best to make Children’s a safe place for staff, patients and families. We will communicate any other operational changes or closures as needed in the coming days; please check myChildren’s and email for timely updates.
At Children’s, we believe that Injustice and inequity hurt the health and well-being of children. We echo the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement: Racism is a public health issue. We cannot –and will not—stay silent in matters that negatively impact children; as caregivers and advocates for children, we speak up and stand against all acts of racism and discrimination.
It is our role to advocate and offer expertise to help make our world a safer, healthier place for ALL children. Advocacy is critical to fulfilling our mission: To improve the life of every child. Whether we’re testifying before state lawmakers or promoting access to health care alongside community partners, Children’s is active and passionate on this front.
As we work to break down deeply engrained disparities and build up all individuals, education is equally vital. Children’s Culture, Inclusion and Diversity team continues to further their important work inside our organization. They are increasing education and training among us to ensure all of us can thrive here and bring our true selves to work. Children’s takes a hard stance against discrimination, and we will not tolerate it in the workplace.
How can you confront your own racial bias? How can you talk with children about racial bias? Today, with you and with our community members on social media, we’re sharing an educational resource for parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics on this timely topic.
Ultimately, Children’s is made up of 3,000+ completely unique individuals. We can put policies and statements in place as an organization, on a macro level, but sometimes it’s the changes made at the micro level—at the level of the individual heart and mind—that can have the most impact. Take the time to consider your feelings, biases and actions towards others. How can you listen more and learn more from perspectives different from your own? How can you be a force for reconciliation in your circle of influence this week? How can you promote unity and respect instead of division, at work and at home? You are not powerless. You have a voice, and you have a choice with every word and deed.
We live in a world plagued by sickness and injustice. While we may not ever remove all traces of these realities, at Children’s, we fight against them at every turn. That’s what makes our organization’s work so powerful, so hopeful. With thoughtful reflection, followed by decisive action, let’s all work together toward making this world the one our children deserve. Let’s stay safe and stay #ChildrensStrong.
Children’s Executive Leadership Team