Dear Mountain Park Team–
Today the president decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA was put in place 5 years ago as a way to erase the difference between children delivered here and children brought here at a young age by those entrusted with their care and well-being.
This announcement has made me think back to the days when I delivered babies for Mountain Park. Many times there was an older brother or sister at the hospital celebrating the new addition to the family along with everyone else. It never occurred to me to wonder where the older sibling was born. These memories weigh on me today as I learned about the decision made by the White House to treat some of these older siblings differently than the babies I delivered.
We know today’s announcement will directly impact 800,000 young people across the nation, 30,000 in Arizona, many of them our own patients. And, of course, we have many coworkers that are currently protected by DACA. We can assume there is fear, confusion and sadness over what to do next and what will happen in the near future.
Although I don’t have all the answers to the questions raised by today’s announcement, one thing is clear: we will do everything we can to support our staff and patients impacted by this announcement.
If you are a staff member who is a DACA program recipient and have questions, please reach out to our Human Resources Director, Chris Rossini, who will be happy to help. If you find patients who are visibly upset or distressed by this news, feel free to reach out to a member of our Behavioral Health team who will be able to assist.
I believe that Mountain Park isn’t just a healthcare organization, we are a place of community for our staff and patients. We stand with everyone who is in pain today.
John Swagert, MD
Chief Executive Officer
Mountain Park Health Center