St. Francis Health System Leaders Respond to Tragedy

TULSA, Okla. – Today was a dark day in Tulsa for the medical community.

Saint Francis said their community is like a family and they are in mourning.

Saint Francis Health System still does not believe that a place of healing can become a place where lives are lost.

“Today our world and the St. Francis family are devastated,” said Dr. Ryan Parker, MD, associate CMO and St. Francis emergency physician.

Grief, hurt and pain are evident among members of the St. Francis community.

“No words can adequately describe the emotions we’ve been feeling for 6 p.m.,” Dr. Parker said.

A place where people go for health care turned into chaos on Wednesday night when a gunman entered the Natalie building and opened fire, killing four people before killing himself.

“To the families of our colleagues who were killed, our hearts break for you,” Dr Parker said.

Two of the victims were doctors at the facility, one was a receptionist and the other a patient, William Love.

“We wanted so badly to use our skills and training to save precious lives…to Mr. Love’s family, I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you…we grieve with you,” Love said.

Leaders at Saint Francis Health System struggled to find the words to make sense of this senseless act.

“We’re supposed to be the ones who carry for others during tragedies, to think that our caregivers were the victims, it’s just incomprehensible to me,” Parker said.

Dr. Cliff Robertson MD, President and CEO of Saint Francis Heath System encouraged his more than 10,000 employees to come together in unity as the strong community that they are.

“While it’s human nature to want to turn our backs right now, to want to walk away, we can’t do that…and we won’t,” Dr Robertson said.

“Our job is to help and to heal and we are here to do our job, even if it is with broken hearts,” Dr Parker said.

St. Francis said the orthopedic clinic is closed indefinitely until further notice. Other campus locations have resumed appointments

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