Dear Faculty, Staff, Residents, and Students,
It is hard to find words to characterize the full horror and brutality of the Hamas attacks upon the innocent citizens of Israel. First, I fully support USF President Rhea Law, Board of Trustees Chair Will Weatherford, and leaders around the world in condemning the slaughter perpetrated by these terrorists and all of us at USF Health stand with the people of Israel and mourn the victims of this despicable depravity.
We also join with university leadership in promoting a culture of compassion. As a community, we should treat each other with empathy and respect and act in a way that maintains a safe and healthy environment on our campuses, hospitals, and clinics. I would encourage all of you to read the President’s message in full.
Here at USF Health, I know some of you have been directly impacted by this tragedy, and it seems many of us know someone who has lost a family member, friend, or colleague. For health care workers, dedicated to healing, it is especially difficult to bear witness to what columnist Peggy Noonan aptly described in The Wall Street Journal as a level of violence that seems as calculated and strategic as it was terrifying and abhorrent.
It is my profound hope that the world’s political leaders will exercise as much restraint as possible as they respond to this tragedy; for to do otherwise will be a victory for terror as a political strategy. As healers, we must always support the humanity and dignity of all individuals, and we call on those involved in this war, no matter how justified it may be, to follow the tenets of international law and actively seek to minimize civilian casualties.
I also would like to share with you the response of our colleagues at the Florida Medical Association, who have supplied us with information on how health care providers who feel called to do so can volunteer to offer medical aid to Israel.
Please join me in grieving the senseless loss of lives and praying for the restoration of peace.
Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM
Executive Vice President, USF Health
Dean, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine