Statement from Meritus Health President and CEO following two community tragedies

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Following a shooting in front of the Valley Mall on Wednesday evening, and a mass shooting in Smithsburg on Thursday, Meritus Health’s President and CEO, Maulik Joshi, Dr.P.H., has released the following statement:

“In two days, our dedicated teams cared for victims of two different shootings in our community. In these same heroic moments, our community and Meritus family, experienced tragedy that no one should ever experience in a life time.

Each hour of every day, our specialized trauma team stands ready and prepared for the unimaginable. We passionately and firmly exist to support the health needs of our local community, in order for our loved ones to receive expert care, close to home. When seconds count, we are proud to offer trauma care that saves lives right here.

Thursday afternoon, our teams were alerted of a shooting. Just the night before, they cared for a teenager shot in front of the local mall. Within seconds, our experts were prepared; from the operating room to security, every single member responded with passion.

We provided hope to these victims.

But many others also needed us, including those still in our care on the units and serious medical emergencies that arrived the same afternoon.

These moments were also harrowing for our teams. Leadership placed appropriate areas on lockdown to be extremely cautious with the advice from law enforcement. I appreciate your willingness to put the safety of our teams first.

Mental health services checked on the wellbeing of our care teams. If you or a loved one need this type of assistance, we have appointments available.

These events have hit close to home and we need to take care of our team in different ways including emotional support.

While we rehearse and practice so that in these moments, where every second counts, we are the very experts our patients need. Everyone in our health system plays a role, and is impacted when tragedies like this occur. We all feel it, and yet, our teams are resilient and compassionate.

Our hearts are heavy, as we grieve with our community.

At the same time, we are also proud. We lived up to our mission and our teams provided their very best.

In a dire situation, we saved a life.”