Reaffirming our Values – Comments on the news from Jackman

PCHC believes in inclusion, dignity, and the fundamental importance of everyone we serve and we want to reaffirm our values and commitment to the Jackman community and Jackman Community Health Center.  Here is a message PCHC President and CEO, Lori Dwyer, Esq., shared with PCHC employees regarding the recent news around the racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic views of the Jackman Town Manager.

Dear Colleagues,

I am sure many of you have seen the news that broke on Friday about the racist, xenophobic and misogynistic views of the Jackman Town Manager.  This news underscores the importance of explicitly reaffirming PCHC’s values, and, at the same time, affirming our commitment to the Jackman Community Health Center and the health of the Jackman community.

I know Mr. Kawczynski’s views are not shared by the Jackman community writ large, and I want to be clear that PCHC rejects and condemns them.  In situations like this, explicitly reaffirming our core values is necessary to meet our mission as a community health center and to our ability to participate in the Jackman community with integrity.

At PCHC, we believe in inclusion, dignity, and the fundamental importance of everyone we serve.  We hold all people in our collective embrace, as we give them hope, prevent illness, and provide the best care possible when they are ill.  We work and serve with humility, knowing that tragedy or illness can strike any of us, at any time.

This is a community health center.  We strive every day to erase health inequity in our communities.  All the “isms” and simplistic assumptions—racism, misogyny, sexism, xenophobia—that raise irrational fear and divide us have no place in our health centers.  We know that inequality literally makes people sick, and we fight against that.

This has been a discouraging few days – with this story hitting so close to home, with the federal government shutdown and Congress failing to find a way to reauthorize CHIP or restore health center funding, among other important priorities.  My hope is that from this we find new resolve to heal our divided communities, promote health equality, and welcome everyone through our doors.

Lori L. Dwyer, Esq.
President & CEO
Penobscot Community Health Care