Healing in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting: Words of support from 5 healthcare leaders

In the days after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history that killed 50 people and injured 53, the national healthcare community has responded with an outpouring of support for the victims and first responders.

"The world's response to this has been incredible," said Joseph Ibrahim, MD, trauma medical director at Orlando (Fla.) Regional Medical Center, the hospital that treated the victims. Here are responses from five healthcare leaders to the tragedy in Orlando.

1. "As the nation's healers, we are shocked and saddened by the horrific, senseless murders in Orlando and a brazen, targeted attack on LGBTQ Americans," Steven Stack, MD, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement. "We offer our deepest condolences to those who lost friends and loved ones, and we extend our hopes for recovery to the men and women still fighting for their lives. With these newest shocking images of gun violence seared in our collective conscience, we know these wounds — physical and mental — will take time to heal. The AMA and physicians across America stand ready to not only treat the sick, but to find solutions to prevent future gun violence."

2. "On behalf of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the victims and families involved in the senseless attack at an Orlando nightclub over the weekend," Carlos Migoya, CEO of Miami-based Jackson Health System and board chairman of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, said in a statement. Orlando Health is part of this Alliance."I would also like to convey my appreciation to the heroic team at Orlando Regional Medical Center that provided lifesaving care to the victims with unprecedented urgency, kindness and professionalism…As head of Jackson Health and its Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, I applaud the surgeons, nurses and support teams at Orlando Regional for their skill and determination in dealing with this unforeseeable crisis. While no one ever anticipates having a traumatic injury, it is comforting to know trauma centers stand ready should the need arise."

3. "It is important to pull together in the face of this act of hate," Ram Raju, MD, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, said in an email blast. "…In the wake of this tragedy, we want to affirm that NYC Health + Hospitals is an ally to the LBGTQ community and we stand together during this time of grief and mourning. I also want to reiterate that our healthcare system has zero tolerance for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

On June 26th, NYC Health + Hospitals staff will have the opportunity to send a strong message of unity as we gather a large contingent of staff to march in the New York City Pride Parade. We invite you to march with us and show solidarity for our patients and staff who are part of the LGBTQ community."

4. "On behalf of the nation's emergency physicians, I wish to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were murdered inOrlandothis weekend," Jay Kaplan, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said in a statement. "In addition, we extend our prayers for healing and recovery to the many injured who are still fighting for their lives. While the shock and grief from this horrific tragedy are still fresh, we are resolved to redouble our efforts at dealing with what has unfortunately become a regular occurrence in our nation."

5. "As we celebrate World Blood Donor Day on June 14, AABB, America's Blood Centers and the American Red Cross want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for the generous outpouring of support from blood donors in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando," the organizations said in a joint statement. "Not only in Florida, but across the country, the American public has come out to blood donation sites to provide help for patients in need and stand in solidarity, sometimes in long lines, for those affected by this horrific situation. We want to assure you that all blood needs from this event have been met."


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