JABSOM Statement on support and resources as humanitarian crises and conflict unfolds

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Dear JABSOM ‘ohana,

I, like you, have been greatly troubled by the recent atrocities and terrorist acts committed by Hamas, loss of life and livelihoods, escalating humanitarian crises of the civilians in Gaza, and war in the Middle East. I recognize that although we live thousands of miles away, some of us have family or family origins in the region that have experienced significant trauma and loss with generational impacts. As it is clear this new conflict will wage on for a prolonged time, in addition to the still-ongoing war in Ukraine and other international and domestic tensions that impact each of us differently, I wanted to remind us of our common humanity, shared values of aloha and respect, collaboration, deep caring for each other as individuals and as a community, and the importance of pono - behaving with integrity, morality, and equity, taking action to eliminate health disparities in the spirit of social justice. While there are many perspectives and emotions, I want to remind us that we stand unequivocally against hatred based on religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, and other categories. More than ever, we should practice compassion for others and ourselves and uphold our JABSOM Professionalism Philosophy:

As a member of the John A. Burns School of Medicine community, I uphold the highest standards of professional behavior. As such, I will treat myself and others with respect, aloha, and compassion, execute my duties with skill and accountability, act altruistically, embrace social responsibility, conduct myself with integrity and humility, and pursue excellence in all that I do. 

I also want to remind us of the resources available to help those in need during these difficult times. Students and employees may find fellowship and support with campus or community groups (Hillel, Muslim student groups, mosques, synagogues, and other faith-based organizations).  UH counseling resources can be located through the UH Manoa Counseling and Student Development Center or other confidential mental health resources. Learners, please reach out to your faculty advisor, program director, or (MD program) Office of Student Affairs if your circumstances cause a need for additional support. 

UH has a firm commitment to non-discrimination and working together to overcome intolerance. We prohibit harassment based on religion, immigration status, national origin, race, gender, LGBTQ+ status or ability. This commitment has been and remains clear and firm, including reaffirmation of these core values by our Board of Regents. If you encounter intimidation or discrimination, please contact school leadership for help.

As an institution that trains the next generation of healthcare providers and scientists and aims to relieve human suffering, many of us may feel powerless or at a loss for how to help. The AAMC supports contributions to Doctors Without Borders and Direct Relief for dealing with the ramifications of the attacks and the ongoing war. 

Continue to live aloha, take care of yourself and each other,

Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum