To the entire Southcoast Health family:
I write you today in the hope that my letter will offer our employees and staff a sense of safety and understanding. There is so much to say, and yet at times it feels as if there are no words left to convey our collective grief, despair and outrage. Please bear with me as I try. Read more.
Southcoast Health is committed to embracing and fostering a diverse and welcoming environment for all.
We strive for a culture of health that recognizes, respects, and celebrates the rich diversity of one another and the communities we serve.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date when Black slaves in Texas learned about President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. The holiday has been celebrated for the past 154 years, starting in Texas and now observed in some way in all but two states.
In 2007, Deval Patrick, the first Black governor of Massachusetts, signed a proclamation to recognize Juneteenth. In 2013, passage of legislation recognizing Juneteenth in Rhode Island was sponsored by state senator Harold Metts. Its passage coincided with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Currently, a bill filed by Springfield Representative Bud Williams would make Juneteenth in Massachusetts a state holiday.
There is growing support across the country to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
Commemorations began with family gatherings, picnics and barbecues; significant because such gatherings were prohibited as part of the slavery practice. Readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, parades, concerts, vigils, marches and protests have grown in popularity as ways to recognize Juneteenth.
Many agree that Juneteenth has taken on even greater significance this year due to targeted violence against Black Americans and other hate crimes against Black, Indigenous and People of Color, notably the horrific murders of George Floyd and so many others, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement’s ensuing response in recent years, which has generated more and more support from every corner of the country.
Southcoast Health’s Diversity & Inclusion Council recognize Juneteenth internally and encourages all who are interested to join this growing group to help plan future festivities. Through our commemoration, we will honor those lost to racism while we help build the anti-racist world to come.
Recognizing Pride Month
Southcoast Health is celebrating Pride Month to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. Charlton Memorial and St. Luke’s are lit up all this month with the colors of the rainbow – the symbol of Pride. Delicious rainbow cupcakes will be available for sale at all 3 Southcoast Health hospital cafeterias starting Monday, June 22nd while supplies last.
Additionally, Tony Ferraiolo, a transgender youth advocate and certified life coach, was the Pride month keynote speaker for an online event for employees on Tuesday, June 23 from 6pm – 7pm.
Tony has dedicated himself to promoting competent and respectful health care for the transgender and non-binary communities, providing trainings to more than 25,000 people. He will speak about his experience and personal struggles with health providers and discuss misconceptions about his community.
Southcoast Health employees can register for the keynote from the intranet site.
Dr. Annalise Boisvert, MD, FACOG, NCMP, has been working within the Southcoast Health system since August of 2017. She is an attending physician and surgeon providing obstetrical and gynecologic care to girls and women of all ages.
Dr. Boisvert’s journey into the medical field began with childhood experiences. “My father was a paraplegic, and my mother suffered for years with rheumatoid arthritis,” she says. “I spent a lot of time at hospitals and doctor’s offices as a child with my parents.” Read more.
Dr. Kevin Gendreau is a primary care physician and a weight-loss specialist at Southcoast Health.
“I have been an open and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community since coming out in my mid-20s… Pride month is important to shed light on members of the LGBTQ+ community as worthy, creative, productive and integral members of our society.”
Currently, Dr. Gendreau is writing a children’s book about the coronavirus pandemic. Read more.
Sydney Preston is a Senior Graphic Designer at Southcoast Health. She works in Marketing and helps communicate messages to the public and employees.
This is an important year for Sydney. And this month, especially, as we celebrate Pride Month and its significance. “This is the first Pride Month that I have been able to celebrate as me. Last year I was still processing and coming to terms with what lay ahead. But, I see Pride Month as a time to celebrate. It is a time to be proud of who you are and what you may have gone through to get where you are.” Read more.
Jake Kenyon is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) at Charlton Memorial Hospital. He diagnoses and treats swallowing disorders in critically ill patients. “I also provide speech, language, and cognitive treatment to patients recovering from various medical conditions on our Southeast Rehab Unit.”
Each June, as part of Pride Month, Jake donates or raises money for organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community. Jake believes Pride is more than rainbow flags and parades. “It’s about the sense of community and pride we as an LGBTQ+ group share together. Read more.
Areas of Focus
- Provide D&I educational opportunities for SCH employees.
- Promote Cultural and LGBTQ Awareness through the celebration of Cultural Diversity Months.
- Strive for Healthcare Equity for our patients.
- Pursue diverse talent and leadership recruitment and development.
On February 27, 2020, Steve Pemberton shared his inspirational story as Southcoast Health’s Diversity Recognition Key Note Speaker to celebrate Black History Month. During his visit, Steve toured the St Luke’s STOICO Firstfed Maternity unit, met with our Diversity and Inclusion Council, and spoke to a full auditorium while simultaneously being streamed to three other Southcoast sites and the Facebook community. You can watch the entire speech and story here.
Born at St. Luke’s Hospital, Steve defied seemingly insurmountable odds by overcoming his experience in this region’s foster care system to become a trailblazing corporate executive, enlightened diversity leader, visionary youth advocate and an acclaimed speaker.
Steve’s bestselling book, A Chance in the World, became a major motion picture and further amplified his overall motivational messages: Believe in your dreams, rise above obstacles, create opportunities for others and, most of all, persevere.
View his visit to Southcoast Health in the videos below.
Celebrating African American History Month
Sharon Jones, RN entered the healthcare field more than 40 years ago – and is showing no signs of stopping. As the President and CEO of the Southcoast Visiting Nurse Association going on 10 years, she has most recently become a key figure on the newly established Southcoast Health Diversity and Inclusion Council.
She is an RN with a Master of Science Degree in nursing, with a focus on both family health and administration. “I had considered going the business route and getting an MBA but I felt a calling to remain within the nursing realm.” Read more.
Kim says it’s great to be able to live in a diverse community and learn cultural values from our patients. “We have diversity among our patients but also among our employees. There is so much diversity here within this hospital and organization. It is just wonderful to serve our vast and diverse community because we learn from it. We learn from our patients and their cultural beliefs…”
Kim is the St. Luke’s Women & Children’s Pavilion Nurse Manager. “I manage the unit. I also have the clinical background to care for patients if they need me. There have been times I had to put scrubs on and work bedside with patients. We always want to deliver safe patient care.” Read more.
Dilma Lubrano is a Food Service Specialist at Southcoast Health. The diverse languages, cultures, and countries she’s experienced in her life are reflected in her creations of fresh food at Charlton Memorial Hospital.
Dilma took a chance by leaving her home, Santiago, Cape Verde’s biggest island, to pursue her first passion: cooking…
Now, Dilma and her family are building a life in Fall River, where co-workers describe her as a good role model who brings people together. Dilma loves her co-workers and says, “They are amazing.” She truly appreciates the flexibility that comes with her job. It has helped her with raising her daughter, and she is forever grateful for the department’s philosophy of work-life balance. Read more.