MUSC leaders respond to mass shootings in Buffalo and Laguna Beach

A Letter from MUSC leaders – May 17, 2022

Dear MUSC family,

In the wake of the terror attacks in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store and at a Laguna Beach church this past weekend, we find ourselves once again struggling with the same questions any time there are such meaningless acts of brutality. And as answers to those questions bounce around our minds, we realize that there is no one answer, no one way to feel, and for some of us, we can feel powerless in the face of such utter disregard for human life.

Although this event took place outside of South Carolina, as care givers and protectors of human life, we feel deep sorrow for those directly affected and for those locally who may be reliving their own worst days from the aftermath of the Mother Emanuel attack almost seven years ago. Then and now, we grieve with all who were directly and indirectly affected by these tragedies.

We can’t let the frequency of these horrific crimes erode our compassion for all of those affected, and the distances involved should not lessen our empathy for each other. Whether these hateful mass shootings occur near or far, they represent an urgent call to action for each of us. We must use our individual and collective power to engage in our communities in ways that are constructive, respectful and inclusive of others. In times like this, we must recommit to sustaining and supporting a community where everyone feels welcomed, valued and safe.

We care about the impact of these events on each of you. To assist those with immediate emotional needs, please reach out to the MUSC Resiliency Program, Employee Assistance Program, Student Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or Pastoral Care Services if you feel you could benefit from individualized help.

In the days ahead, we ask you to continue to provide your sympathy and support for anyone in our network who may be suffering during this period of grief and loss. We would also ask that you think of ways that you, personally, can make others feel welcome, valued and safe as we move forward from yet another senseless tragedy.

Yours in service,

David Cole, M.D., FACS, President

Lisa Saladin, PT, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Patrick Cawley, M.D., CEO, MUSC Health and Vice President for Health Affairs, University

Willette Burnham- Williams, Ph.D., Chief Equity Officer