Celebrating Pride Month: Chuck Cusson Jr., Executive Director, Talent Management and Organizational Capability
Recently, Chuck stepped in as Chair of Southcoast Health’s new LGBTQIA+ Employee Resources Group
A relative newcomer to Southcoast Health, Chuck Cusson Jr., began his work with the organization on a consulting basis last summer and joined as a full-time employee in December 2021.
“My work is focused on developing our leaders across the organization,” says Chuck. “My team and I work to ensure training and resources are in place to help leaders develop and refine their skills. It’s exciting work. Our goal is to help everyone grow within the organization and enjoy a long-term career as part of the Southcoast Health team.”
Recently, Chuck stepped in as Chair of Southcoast Health’s new LGBTQIA+ Employee Resources Group (ERG). This latest addition to Southcoast Health’s ERGs includes employees who bring thought and leadership to important social and employee concerns.
“I’m excited for the launch of this new ERG. As a leader of our Human Resources team, I hope to bring this LGBTQIA+ ERG’s work to all parts of the organization,” Chuck says.
Chuck is equally enthusiastic about Southcoast Health’s LGBTQIA+ Welcoming and Knowledgeable project, a large-scale project across the organization to achieve two primary goals: making improvements to our medical records system to accept and display sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) information, and providing learning opportunities and resources for Southcoast employees. Both of the goals are focused on enhancing our ability to provide optimal care for LGBTQIA+ patients.
“The LGBTQIA+ Welcoming and Knowledgeable project is one of the main reasons I joined Southcoast Health,” Chuck says. “I was asked to join committee meetings for this project and immediately felt the passion for, and commitment to, this work from so many people across the organization.”
“Southcoast Health is listening to, and responding to, the healthcare challenges that members of the LGBTQIA+ community face every day. I’m proud to be part of this organization that is making such a great investment of resources into supporting the LGBTQIA+ community,” he adds.
The Significance of Pride Month
“As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Pride Month means many things to me. It’s a time to celebrate the ways in which the LGBTQIA+ community has become more understood, accepted and supported,” Chuck says. “It’s heartening to see the efforts made to embrace diversity and inclusion. And it’s a chance to acknowledge and build awareness of the resources available to LGBTQIA+ individuals and our allies.”
“Pride Month is also a great way for people to connect with one another through events and celebrations. It’s about building support systems and connections to strengthen our community,” Chuck says.
“I grew up not knowing another gay person, or at least not one who was out, until my late teens. It’s really tough to feel you are completely alone. I recall the first time I attended the New York City Pride Parade when I was in my late teens. It was liberating for me to be among so many LGBTQIA+ individuals. I met people who were not only okay with who they were, but they celebrated who they were. That was a turning point for me – to know I was not alone, and that it was okay to be me. The experience played a big part in helping me to come out,” Chuck adds.
“As someone who knows how difficult it is to grow up part of the LGBTQIA+ community, every step we can make in helping our community and our allies come together is progress.”
“Pride Month is also a time to recognize how much work is still to be done. So many members of the community face ongoing challenges, including prejudice, isolation, and health issues such as depression. Pride Month reminds us of those challenges and how important it is for all of us to keep focused on the work ahead. And Pride Month gives us the opportunity to get loud about it!”
To learn more about Southcoast’s Pride Celebration please visit Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Southcoast Health | Southcoast Health.