Statement by the Board of Directors of Philadelphia FIGHT: We Will Continue

The Board of Directors of Philadelphia FIGHT rejects recent charges made by certain former staff members, as expressed by the Black and Brown Workers Collective, Elizabeth Long and Danica Moore.  We will not be distracted from our mission by false, misleading, inaccurate, and self-serving statements made by individuals who are no longer employed or receive services at FIGHT. Further, we demand that the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and certain elements of the press stop defaming FIGHT by amplifying these baseless false claims.

We the Board commit ourselves to Philadelphia FIGHT’s future:

  • We will not be “dismantled” as previously demanded on the BBWC’s Facebook page, since taken down, and we will not fire the members of our staff who have been targeted. We strongly support our Chief Executive Officer, Jane Shull, and the entire management and medical team that she leads. 
  • We will continue to ensure that FIGHT provides the best medical care and other services for all our patients and clients, and the best working environment possible for our excellent and committed staff, who we fully support.
  • We commit ourselves to be there for FIGHT as it provides critical life-saving medical care and other services to our more than 4500 patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
  • We commit ourselves to our highly-committed and expert staff, and we will continue to support them in every way possible as they serve those most at risk and most vulnerable in Philadelphia, including those with HIV, hepatitis C, histories of incarceration or addiction, the homeless, marginalized and traumatized.
  • We will continue to work together as a Board of Directors, valuing every opinion and striving for openness and transparency. We note that, contrary to the implications of the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission’s 2017 report on discrimination in the gayborhood, our board, senior management team, and staff are diverse and reflect the people that we serve.
  • We will continue to provide the best medical and other care possible to every patient or client.
  • We will continue to treat our patients and clients with dignity and respect, fulfilling FIGHT’s commitment of 25 years to see patients as guests.
  • We will continue to advocate for progressive ideas and actions in medicine, including research, prevention, treatment, and care, as well as expanding services and locations as appropriate.
  • We will continue until there is a cure for HIV/AIDS.
  • We will continue to FIGHT for what is right.
  • We will continue.

We call on our collective community, local and state leaders to join us in affirming FIGHT’s value to our city, and in rejecting false claims whose only outcome is to spread fear that a vital community service might be dismantled. We affirm that FIGHT is not in peril of being dismantled, but instead is growing and must grow to serve more people than ever before. We celebrate the many that benefit from FIGHT, not the few that seek to defame us for self-serving reasons.

 

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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. 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