Some 200 Boston Medical Center doctors, nurses and other staffers stood in front of Boston Medical Center today, in what they said was a protest against a visit by two representatives of a homophobic and anti-immigrant federal government but more important and a message to patients that hospital staffers will do whatever it takes to protect them from an administration determined to get rid of them.
"We're here to provide a safe place for them," Dr. Sara Stulac, a BMC pediatrician, said.
Stulac and other protesters stood on a lawn on the Harrison Avenue side of Boston Medical Center. The hospital barred reporters from going on the lawn to talk to protesters, but several walked over to the reporters gathered on a sidewalk.
Eduardo Garza, a family-medicine and psychiatry resident, agreed that the key message from the protest is one to patients: That they can continue to come to BMC for care and that he and others will treat them without question.
"There's a big fear that our patients are not going to feel safe," he said, adding some immigrant patients have already shown signs of anxiety that they might be targeted by the federal government and deported.
Dr. Kelley Saia, an OB/Gyn and director of a program that helps new mothers with substance-abuse problems, said she was particularly frustrated because the visit by Trump and her husband's secretary of health and human services - focusing on a program that seeks to help the babies, was leaving out the mothers, who are just as important to the babies' futures as anything the hospital can do for them.
"You can't have a healthy baby without a healthy mom," she said.