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ArcheMedX Statement on Immigration Policies and Lasting Child Health Consequences

The past few weeks have been a trying time for our nation, and the recent actions taken against thousands of innocent children have been horrifying to watch. In response, the team at ArcheMedX has elected to speak out with one voice and to invest our time and resources to provide immediate assistance.

As parents and employees at a technology company that strives to improve the quality of patient care across this nation, we have become deeply concerned about the welfare of children forcibly separated from their parents at the US border. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), one of our esteemed healthcare partners, stated unequivocally last week, “We know that family separation causes irreparable harm to children. This type of highly stressful experience can disrupt the building of children’s brain architecture. Prolonged exposure to serious stress – known as toxic stress – can lead to lifelong health consequences.”

To address these significant health concerns, the ArcheMedX team has begun collaborating with our network of healthcare partners to develop and deliver free awareness and education programs to those working with children and families suffering from this trauma. As we did during the Zika outbreak and recent hurricanes; we are donating our time, money, and considerable energy to make a difference. If you are also committed to supporting these children, then please contact us today to discuss how we can collaborate (at no cost) to help address this humanitarian crisis.

Recognizing the lasting emotional, psychological, and physical health consequences these separation and child detention policies have caused (read the landmark CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study to understand why), we are adding our voice to that of the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Psychological Association, National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Pediatrics, and others to denounce the abhorrent policy of family separation and child detention.  Per AAP’s recent statement, “conditions in U.S. detention facilities, which include forcing children to sleep on cement floors, open toilets, constant light exposure, insufficient food and water, no bathing facilities, and extremely cold temperatures, are traumatizing for children. No child should ever have to endure these conditions.”

The healthcare industry continues to raise awareness of the very real and harmful health consequences these children face, and all of us must condemn the Administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ and family separation policies. Recent changes to how U.S. immigration policy is implemented, including the cruel and immoral actions of forcibly separating thousands of children from their parents at the U.S. southern border, should concern every American, regardless of political party or persuasion. This is about our basic decency and humanity as parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters. We must enshrine an unbreakable belief that every child should be treated with as much care and respect as we would wish for our own loved ones.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon every healthcare organization to call on Congress, the Administration, and all Americans to assist those already affected and all future children by taking these immediate actions:

  • reunify the separated children and families without delay;
  • reveal the location of centers/shelters and invite humanitarian groups and medical professionals to provide physical and mental care to those children and families who have been forcibly separated;
  • establish compassionate immigration policies that reflect the human rights of all people;
  • never again allow the forced separation of children from families at the border;
  • and if children must be detained, identify an alternative form of humane housing for the entire family

In these trying times, the ArcheMedX team is fortunate to call Charlottesville, VA home. As a community uniquely impacted by the toxicity and prejudice of last summer’s tragic events, we are acutely aware of how important it is for every community to unite in times of crisis. Thus, we have begun working with our fellow business and community leaders in Charlottesville to generate awareness of this urgent situation and to reaffirm the values of equality, compassion, and tolerance embraced across our incredible city and within our own refugee population.

We are a better nation and people than recent Administration policies would have the world believe, and now, more than ever, is the time that we should stand united and demonstrate those qualities that still make our country a shining beacon of hope.

Joel Selzer

CEO & Co-Founder

ArcheMedX, Inc.

Written by

Joel is a digital innovation leader who has spent the past 15 years improving access to information and data across the life science and healthcare industries as an entrepreneur, board member, and advisor. He co-founded and currently leads ArcheMedX, which applies behavioral science to transform learning and generate actionable insights for Healthcare and Life Science organizations.