At Providence St. Joseph Health, our values include compassion, dignity and justice. To put a finer point on it, our statement of values – written with input from many of our 119,000 caregivers – includes these specific words:
- "Through our healing presence, we accompany those who suffer."
- "We respect the inherent dignity and worth of every individual."
- "We stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable, working to remove the causes of oppression and promoting justice for all."
With this as our lens, Providence St. Joseph Health is committed to serving as a strong and active voice for children who have been separated from their families at the southern border, and for those affected by the federal administration’s travel and immigration restrictions.
We have received many messages from caregivers across our organization – speaking both as clinicians and concerned citizens – about the trauma that these children are inevitably experiencing. It is well documented that adverse childhood events can cause health problems for a lifetime and even generations.
As health care professionals and people of Providence St. Joseph Health, we are compelled to speak up on behalf of these children. That is why we supported the Catholic Health Association’s public statement last week urging a reversal of the zero tolerance policy and why we will continue to advocate that families be quickly reunited.
We also have about 300 caregivers who are nationals or dual nationals from the seven countries affected by the travel ban. Many have written to us expressing fear about their status. To these caregivers, please we know we stand in full solidarity with you and are closely reviewing today’s Supreme Court decision so we can gain as much clarity as possible to support you.
Providence St. Joseph Health has served as a healing presence in the world, especially for those who are poor and vulnerable, since the Sisters of Providence and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange traveled West more than 160 years ago. Just as our founders did, we are called to live our values, not just pay lip service, even when times are challenging. Decades from now, when people look back and ask how we responded to these events, we will say, we answered the call, we stood up for our values, we were a voice of compassion, dignity and justice.