Rehab Medicine Statement Regarding The Death of George Floyd

A message from Department Head Leslie Morse, DO, & Diversity Officer, Ricardo Battaglino, PhD

We have witnessed with horror and disbelief the senseless murder of George Floyd, a restrained, unarmed black man, by a member of the Minneapolis Police Department. We are heartbroken and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of George Floyd. As members of a Medical School whose fundamental mission is to be a leader in enhancing the health of people through the education of skilled, compassionate and socially responsible physicians, we cannot, and must not, accept events like this or the recent abhorrent killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Neither can we succumb to the feelings of hopelessness and anger that fueled peaceful and violent demonstrations across the globe this past few days. These events have touched all of us deeply, especially our black colleagues and friends, at a time when our anxiety and uncertainty about the future is already high.

In this dark moment, we have an opportunity and the duty to listen to each other and elevate our collective voice against social injustice, violations of human rights and racism.

The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine started conversations over the weekend in response to these events. We are working to provide a platform for dialogue and are compiling resources that are especially needed in this time of isolation and desperation.

Despite this devastating set of circumstances and events, we have faith in our capacity as a community to play a leading role in bringing our community together to start the healing process.  

Ricardo Battaglino, PhD
Diversity Officer, Rehabilitation Medicine

Leslie Morse, DO
Department Head, Rehabilitation Medicine