Kari Wolf, psychiatry chair

We welcome everyone into our care

Published Date:

SIU Medicine’s Chair of Psychiatry Kari Wolf, MD, issued the following statement in response to recent actions in state government and academia.

At SIU Medicine, equity is a core value. That means that every day we strive to be a just, fair, unbiased and anti-racist organization that is focused on better health for all. As a specialty, psychiatry has a poor track-record of supporting the communities we serve and embracing equity. There are many historic instances of institutionalized racism and gender bias that have cast a shadow over our profession for generations. Unfortunately, patients and learners are still being traumatized by this history today.

When a prominent psychiatrist uses social media to make racist and sexist comments, s/he is NOT speaking on behalf of our profession or SIU’s Department of Psychiatry. When the Texas Governor issues directives to withhold and criminalize evidence-based, gender-affirming care for transgender youth, he does not speak for healthcare professionals who provide that important care to children and their families. He does not speak for SIU Medicine.

In light of these and other recent events in American society, we, as the SIU Department of Psychiatry, recommit to our work to fight against systemic racism, genderism, and sexism in our profession and in our society. As an equity-forward institution, we continue to examine our internal beliefs, policies and actions to defeat racism and other forms of bias that harm people we serve, communities and each other. We will also continue to fight against bias and oppression across society that prevents all of us from reaching our full potential.  

Everyone in society benefits when we eliminate oppression of all forms. We at SIU Medicine and within the SIU Department of Psychiatry welcome everyone—especially transgender youth and their families and people of color—into our care. We owe each other and the communities we serve at least that much as we achieve better health for all.

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