Petition Against Threat to Dismantle Philadelphia FIGHT

This petition was spearheaded by members of the community and is still circulating. These were the first signatures. If you want to participate in this effort, please contact Roy Hayes at Philadelphia FIGHT.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

We are staff, participants, and allies of Philadelphia FIGHT and wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms, any wicked and selfish plans by aggrieved ex-employees including Elisabeth Long and Danica Moore, to dismantle Philadelphia FIGHT and throw us and our dependent families into disarray while pushing our clients out of essential health services.

We declare that some of us have been employees at FIGHT for close to 30 years and not only hold FIGHT in very high esteem but vouch for the integrity of the organization and of its CEO, Jane Shull, whom we love so much because of her compassion, empathy and non-racial treatment of all.

Jane Shull has spearheaded the fight of equal health for all, especially by taking in those rejected by main health institutions in the early days of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Jane’s efforts and true compassion for others created a safe space for all. Only those who have not walked the journey of being discriminated against, stigmatized, and denied treatment because of their economic deprivation or color can seek to undermine the glass ceiling roof that Jane Shull has broken in the health care and social services field.

In FIGHT every minute counts, because we are in the business of saving lives and drama and distraction is definitely not a part of our portion or a call to this service to which we are so totally committed.

The recent misrepresentation of FIGHT by a few mischievous and disgruntled elements holds no water but is a scheme to cause chaos and anxiety, especially amongst participants, who have shared their distress with us, after viewing unwarranted claims and false accusations against fellow colleagues and the FIGHT administration, on social media. False accusations of racism and unfair treatment of staff by administration have also been circulated among news magazines.

Most of our participants come from a low income community of color and are on life-dependent medication, treatment and care provided by Philadelphia FIGHT. They do not need any stress that will shorten their lives and destroy all the gains and sacrifices that this committed staff and the institution have made over time to access healthcare to the underprivileged regardless of their status in life. Philadelphia FIGHT offers holistic mental, physical, educational and social services resources, irrespective of whether one has insurance or not.

FIGHT offers healthcare to people of color, many of whom identify as gay, bisexual, gender, non-conforming and/or transgender, people addicted to substances, homeless and people living with HCV. FIGHT is as we speak at the height of HIV clinical trials for the cure for HIV, one of only six such centers in the U.S., and has enlisted some of the clients as participants to what will be a world breakthrough. Is this what these mischievous and heartless individuals have set out to dismantle?

Our consumers come first. We shall protect them within our every possible means to ensure that they continue their services smoothly without threats and disruption by demonstrations in and outside our health centers. We as staff will also protect our jobs and the great human relations we thrive in that makes FIGHT one of the best places to work in. We shall protect our relationship with consumers and the community and the trust we have built over time to ensure a healthier and hopeful community. We intend to protect our partnerships with other health institutions and faith based communities that trust us and support us.

This threat to dismantle services to our consumers must stop with immediate effect. We call on the Black and Brown Workers Cooperative to pull down the slander on their website that attack Jane Shull, Medical Director Dr. Karam Mounzer, Chief Operating Officer Barbara Bungy, HR Director Barry Robinson and our long serving and caring Nursing Manager, Julie Fort.

We also urge the Media to follow in its watchdog role to the public to listen to both sides of a story, including our side, and to capture the truth without fear or favor.

We sign this petition demanding a stop to any further efforts at dismantling Philadelphia FIGHT or demonization of Philadelphia FIGHT at the cost of our consumers’ lives or our jobs.

Signed:

Adrienne Wiliams
Ahzeem Bloom
Alex Ortiz
Allen Truong
Alphonso Jeter
Amanda Drummound
Anthony Dennis
Anthony Harpor
Anthony Papadopoulos
Anthony Powell
Artie Campblell
Ben Green
Berries Parcott
Bert Pannapacker
Carmelo DeShields
Charles William
Clifford Brinkley
Craig Davis-Sharpe
Craig I. Ashley
Curtis Sonds
Danielle Stratton
Dany Dunum
Darren Keck
Darrius Teek
Debbie Myers
Deborah Kennedy
Deon Brown​​​
Deon Dill
DeVante Bell Kershaw
Donnie Cunningham
Dwayne Robinson​
Eddie Davis​​
Edward Loury
Ernest Hayes
Ernestine Walton
Francessa S. Cross
Fredrick Bennet
George Matthews
Gerald Allen
​Gerald Issac​
Grace Kinda
Harold Brown
IBN McAfee​​
Irene Cairnes
Iven Johnson
James Brown
JaVese Phelps Washington
Jeanise Griffin
Jeffery Haskins​​
Jesse Foster
​​Jeyon Brown
Joel Brown
Jose Arande
Karen Wiley
Kim R. Lawrence
Lacey Curtis
Larry Smith
Lawanda Cook
Leon Tyer Jr.
Leslie Douglas
Lester Faison​
Lizette Metaddeu
Lonnie Neely
Malik Hodges
​​Marcie Mays
Mario Coleman
Mark Coleman
Marlene Boykins Young
Mary Malinky Zaben
Melvin A.
Michael Brawn
Michael Weiss
Mike Schlessinger
Mildred Lewis​
Monte Luckson
Nicholas Goutonelli
Nijatay Major
Paige Berry
Perry Roberson
Ralph Lowman
Rev. Andrea Lamour-Harrington
​Richard Bruno
Robert S. Pannapacker
Roger Nelson
Ronald Anders
Roy Hayes
Ruth Schwartz
Sandra Collett​
Sharif T. Bass
Stanley Wright
Tarrence Suartz
Thomas BirdJ
Thomas Hazett
Thomas Kearns​
Tori Arande
Tory Boyd
Tracey Sdire​​​
Tyrone Fingi
Tyson E. Martin
Vander Knight​
Vera Tillman​​​
Vernon Washington
Waheedah Shabazz-El
Wallace Bell
William McDaniel
Zaisha Muhammad

5 thoughts on “Petition Against Threat to Dismantle Philadelphia FIGHT

  1. I stand without hesitation with Philadelphia FIGHT and its Exec Director Jane Shull, in support of ending the viscious and selfish attacks by aggrieved ex-employees including Elisabeth Long and Danica Moore, whose twisted plan is to tarnish the reputation of this organization and to interfere with the transformational life giving services it has bought to people living with HIV in the Phila Metropolitan Area. Jane Shull is a pioneer and a visionary whose programs have helped countless people living with HIV to manage their lives living with HIV.
    We will not stand idly by while those with little to no visions of their own for empowering people living with HIV, or themselves – point their fingers as though they were loaded weapons. WE DENY YOU OUR POWER. Your pointed fingers are as powerless as feathered quill pens with empty inkwells.

  2. I am standing up for Phila FIGHT because it it the right thing to do. As a heterosexual man living with HIV Phila FIGHT is the only agency that has been able to meet my needs and allow me to grow with dignity, self assurance and self empowerment. I want to bring the attacks by disgruntled former employees of Phila FIGHT to an end. Phila FIGHT will continue to stand strong even in the face of this misguided anger of former employees. We will stand in resistance to their lies and selfish accusations.

  3. I honor and uphold the long historical work an visionary insight of of Jane Shull for Philadelphia FiGHT, I will not stand by in silent to allow Philadelphia Fight replication and dedication to people living with HIV and the living saving services to be dismantled. Philadelphia Fight has empowered many of people living with HIV by provide needed lives saving resource to them.Thanks Jane Shull for your many years of service and for standining in Solidarity with people living with HIV.

  4. I came to Philadelphia FIGHT in 2008. I was sick and was not even aware how sick I was. Dr. Mounzer took care of me immediately! As I got better, I started to volunteer at FIGHT because they saved my life! It was an honor and privilege to volunteer for an organization that put the needs of it’s clients above anything else. One of the staff suggested I go back to school. I took that suggestion and I now work here. I love coming to work every day. I feel like we are one large family. From 2008 through this moment, I still see the many times client needs are put above all else. They offer hope to those of us who were once hopeless. Those of us that were shunned by others. They judge none. They are open to all. It is what we do and who we serve that makes us the best Organization to work for because we are here to help those who would otherwise have no where else to turn. So thank you FIGHT!

  5. Having been recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Philadelphia FIGHT, I am now keenly aware of the actions being taken by certain former employees of the organization who are disgruntled. As the former HR Director for FIGHT for nearly 20 years allows me to claim, I am cognizant of the work ethic and the dedication to the organization of most of the employees of FIGHT. It is beyond comprehension to think that the few employees who have recently been let go or because of disagreements with the management of FIGHT left, have then taken it as their mission to dismantle, thereby destroy the organization.
    Philadelphia FIGHT has been such a positive influence in the lives of so many people who are disadvantaged and who have little to no options for good medical and mental health care. It has built a reputation that is beyond compare in the HIV/AIDS community.
    I stand with the doctors, the staff, and the other members of the board in saying that this action by disgruntled employees is full of falsehoods. It borders on libel in my opinion.
    Terry Trudeau
    Board Member and former HR Director of Philadelphia FIGHT

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Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring fellows, residents and students.

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Dr. Karam Mounzer

Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who joins Philadelphia FIGHT as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He completed his undergraduate training in Biology and Psychology from Union College, his medical school training at Albany Medical College, his residency training at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and his Chief Residency at the Albert Einstein Medical Center