A time to be gratefulReflections on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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January 15, 2021

Reflections on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we head into Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend, I hope you’ll take time not only to celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy, but also to reflect on the ways in which you can – and do – apply his teachings in your daily life.

Here in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC), we are deeply proud to share the same home town as Dr. King and to honor his extraordinary vision through our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, collegiality, and constructive culture, and through our deep ties and service to the community he called home.

Now more than ever, you embody Dr. King’s philosophy of selfless service to others. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHSC team has served both COVID and non-COVID patients alike with remarkable skill, fortitude, and compassion; pioneered lifesaving discoveries that have helped us fight COVID locally, nationally, and around the world; and rapidly innovated and adapted to new models of learning to provide our students first-rate instruction while at the same time protecting their safety and that of our community.

And that’s just what you’ve accomplished during work hours. “Off the clock,” you’ve risen to the challenge of one of our community’s darkest hours to lend a helping hand to the many people whose lives and livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic. You’ve devoted your time and energy to tasks as diverse as sewing masks, raising food and funds, helping to administer vaccines, and so much more. You are making a lasting and tangible difference in the lives of people in need, many of them among our community’s most vulnerable. In this way, every member of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center team carries on Dr. King’s legacy every day, and I am humbled and honored to call you my colleagues. Please join me in remembering Dr. King and carrying forward the great work that he undertook in his lifetime.

Thank you, as always, for all that you do to help WHSC make our community a kinder and healthier place for all people. I wish you much happiness and success in the year ahead.

Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, FACR

Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Emory University
Executive Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
CEO and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

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