4 thoughts from Providence Saint Joseph Health CEO Dr. Rod Hochman on Trump's immigration executive order

President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration has prompted a variety of responses from the healthcare industry, with many asserting the restrictions impede medical research, prevent patients from getting necessary care and strain the already growing physician shortage. Rod Hochman, MD, president and CEO of Renton, Wash.-based Providence St. Joseph Health, clarified in a blog post that Providence stands with immigrants and refugees and hopes the "ban on refugees is lifted without delay."

President Trump's executive order, which he signed Jan. 27, temporarily bans travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven Middle Eastern countries, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. In practice, this has prohibited even legal U.S. residents from re-entry into the country, including many scientists and physicians. The rule also suspends the entire U.S. refugee admissions system for 120 days and the Syrian refugee program indefinitely, according to The Guardian.

Here are four thoughts from Dr. Hochman on President Trump's executive order.

1. Dr. Hochman says the order is more than just another piece of news; he said "it hits close to home on a personal level." More than 300 caregivers at Providence are nationals or dual nationals of the countries included in the rule. "They play a vital role in the health of those we serve, bringing highly needed, highly technical skills to our communities," he said. "Their work literally saves lives, and we express our profound gratitude for the contributions they make to our communities every day."

2. One of Providence's values as an organization is to train the international physicians who go to the institution to learn the latest medical techniques, which allows them to provide better healthcare services in their home countries. "It's part of our commitment to improving health around the globe, especially in developing nations," he wrote.

3. The executive order is concerning to Dr. Hochman and the organization as a matter of social justice. "As a Catholic nonprofit health system, Providence St. Joseph Health embraces the teachings that call us to protect the vulnerable and respect the human dignity of all, including those fleeing war-torn nations," he wrote.

4. At the end of the blog post, Dr. Hochman reaffirmed the organization's support of refugees. He wrote, "Providence St. Joseph Health stands with all who seek to escape violence and oppression, both at home and abroad. Our hope is that the confusion around this executive order is clarified as soon as possible and that the ban on refugees is lifted without delay."

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