Statement from Peter WT Pisters, M.D., regarding the tragic death of George Floyd

At MD Anderson, we are filled with anguish and deep sorrow over the senseless acts of racism and violence in our country and the tragic death of George Floyd. This is particularly poignant for Houstonians as he was a member of our community. His family mourns, and we grieve alongside them as he is laid to rest in our city.

Houston is known as one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., and we have an obligation to protect and care for all of our citizens – not just those who look or believe the same as us. It is our diversity that make us stronger. In our city, protesters and police have marched together calling for change. The time for change is now. We can and we must do better.

Many of us are experiencing heartache, pain and fear as we witness the plague of racism, discrimination, intolerance and marginalization in our country. To see this happen while simultaneously navigating a pandemic crisis that is giving rise to inequitable impacts on communities of color, is undeniably challenging and is unacceptable.

MD Anderson’s mission was founded on the principle of serving humanity and making a profound difference by coming together to end a debilitating disease. In the same light, our institution is committed to shifting the trajectory of injustice and supporting a civil society through our own focus on enhanced transparency and accountability, while strengthening our culture of diversity and inclusion.

I offer our institution’s deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of George Floyd, and to all of us in pain due to this and other terrible recent events.

As a country, we have a long road ahead toward healing. This will require conversations, collaboration and understanding. At MD Anderson, diversity is our greatest strength. It is what makes our community resilient and it fuels our mission. We treat others with the respect and dignity that every person deserves. We stand together with a sense of urgency and of unwavering commitment to find solutions, to learn and to do better for all of humanity.