A Message from Donna McKay Regarding PHR’s 2020 Gala

Dear friends,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and well during these very difficult times. We deeply value every one of our supporters and partners, and, with the well-being of our community in mind, we have made the sad but inevitable decision to cancel the Physicians for Human Rights annual gala scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

As we confront the unprecedented challenge presented by the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, restrictions on gatherings in New York and our own analysis make an in-person event impossible at this time. We regret the lost opportunity to celebrate the physicians and partners whose commitment to health and human rights guides our work – but the circumstances that keep us from being together only remind us that the work of Physicians for Human Rights is as vital now as at any time in our history.

So, even though we won’t be together in person, we will share resources and find ways to honor physicians and others at the front lines of this crisis and so many others. That might mean web events, digital conversations, or even a virtual gala – so stay tuned. And, in lieu of supporting our gala itself, we hope you’ll consider donating to Physicians for Human Rights, particularly given that the cancelled event means a loss of almost 50 percent of the annual revenue we receive from individual contributors.

Please make your online donation today to support our work.

As we all now see, the health and human rights crises of this emergency are tightly intertwined, misinformation is rampant, and the politicization of events is commonplace. No one can say with certainty what is to come, but PHR’s more than 30 year legacy of advocating for health workers, protecting vulnerable people, and promoting access to health care put us in a position to make a direct and immediate impact, and our staff and partners are fully engaged inaction on the epidemic. A successful response to COVID-19 demands that governments and individuals follow the advice of health experts and clearly hear the voices of physicians and scientists who can guide us through uncharted territory – voices that PHR is uniquely positioned to mobilize and elevate.

We know the medical community can have disproportionate influence on public and policymaker action on health and human rights, and Physicians for Human Rights will play a critically important role in this unprecedented moment. We thank you for your commitment to our work and look forward to getting through this together.

With best wishes for your health and safety,

Donna McKay

Executive Director, PHR

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