ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The health care community in Orlando is joining the call for change.
More than 100 physicians, nurses, and staff at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Lake Nona took a knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on Friday, the same amount of time George Floyd was restrained by his neck by a former Minneapolis police officer. An incident that led to his death.
“That was very hard to watch. It was hard to take in the entire scene recognizing that there were other people watching that-- including people that could’ve potentially intervened,” said Dr. Lonna Gordon, associate chief of adolescent medicine. “As a physician, we’re trained to recognize when someone dies. And I recognized the exact moment that George Floyd died.”
Floyd’s death has sparked emotions across the country and around the globe. Since his death, protesters have raised their voice in solidarity.
“We feel a lot of sadness for hardships that people have gone through and the way they’ve been treated because of how they look,” Alicia Guerrero, a physician at Nemours Children’s hospital, said.
Outside the hospital’s common area, they kneeled in silence--some held signs that read “White Coats 4 Black Lives,” others bowed their heads.
“We want the community to understand that we’re not tone deaf. We hear you, we understand this plight and that we’re in this fight as well,” Gordon said.
The demonstration wasn't just for Floyd, it also honored all the lives taken from police brutality.
“We hope in the future it makes a change. Please guys, let’s just continue to try and make a change,” Autum Hinds, a physician, said.
Their silent fight also served to raise awareness about issues surrounding the healthcare system.
“We recognize how that affects patient care and racism in the healthcare system and we stand for equality and justice and fair treatment for everybody,” Guerrero said.
“What Nemours is trying to do to address the social determinants of health and try to make healthcare more equitable for not just those who have privilege in our society but everyone in our society,” said Samantha Kennedy, a physician, who also took a knee.