At Northwell, we stand united, celebrating our differences and respecting each other to be Truly Ourselves. Every February, in honor of Black History Month, we celebrate the culture, contributions and accomplishments made by people of color around the world and within our organization.
In partnership with the Center for Equity of Care, we spoke with with Dr. Yves Duroseau, Chairman of Emergency Medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital; Lorraine Chambers-Lewis, PA, Vice President, Employee Health Services; and Kimorine Campbell, Senior Manager, Operations, to learn about their background, leadership journey, and inspirations.
What is your ethnic background and family origin?
Yves: I am Haitian American and of Haitian descent.
Lorraine: My parents are from Jamaica and I am part of the first generation in the family who were born here in America. Years ago many of us in my generation used to affectionately call ourselves “Jamericans.” We adapted very well to living in two worlds. At home we were in our Jamaican culture and outside of the home we had our American culture.
Kimorine: I am Jamaican American. Both my parents were born in Jamaica and I was born and raised in Queens, NY.
Why is it important to support Black history?
Yves: As demonstrated in 2020, we still have societal racial inequities that need to be addressed. 2020 was also encouraging in terms of a more global recognition that significant changes still need to occur until true equity and equality can be achieved.
Lorraine: It allows us to honor those who changed the world, giving them their overdue praise. We also get inspired to push forward with excellence and grit despite the obstacles. However, I think it is most important to remind everyone that as a society, we must always give folks that don’t look like you or act like you a chance and the space to grow. They could be the next history maker who may need a bit of support from you as they evolve into greatness.
Kimorine: Black history is American history. Supporting Black history means recognizing the contributions African Americans have made to our culture and society. Recognition helps us to use the lessons of the past to create a better and brighter future. It also allows us to honor those who have opened doors and to draw inspiration for our own lives.
When did you know that you wanted to pursue a healthcare career?
Yves: I knew I wanted to become a doctor at the age of five. I joke that I was influenced into becoming a doctor by my parents, but fortunately I have no regrets and feel privileged to practice medicine.
Lorraine: In seventh grade, I had my first real exposure to biology. It was the most fascinating subject and I thought, “why would anyone want to study anything else?” While in high school my mother told me about these medical professionals that she saw at her job in a nursing home called Physician Assistants (PA). I did a little research and my decision was made. I knew this profession would be the perfect fit for me.
Kimorine: I always had a desire to help people and initially thought that I wanted to be a clinician. After working a part-time job as a scribe in an Emergency Department, I had an opportunity to experience the administrative side of healthcare and it truly impacted me and shifted my perspective. I knew then that I wanted to become an administrator and it was a great decision. I never looked back.
Is there a specific leader from history that inspires you?
Yves: Toussaint Louverture was a revolutionary leader who was very instrumental in achieving Haiti’s Independence from the French in 1803.
Lorraine: I have to say that I really am stunned by the black women in science. What they must have gone through to acquire an education, seek mentors and find meaningful opportunities. When I graduated from the Harlem Hospital’s Physician Assistant Program in 1993, I invited the first woman formally educated as a Physician Assistant to be our keynote speaker at our graduation. Her name was Joyce Nichols. She happened to be a black woman and her story inspired countless PAs to persevere and lead. I was in awe of her.
Kimorine: Michelle Obama is a recent notable leader that inspires me. I resonate with her humble beginnings and her perseverance, despite the challenges she had to overcome. She never lost herself and continues to work on the issues that are important to her such as public health, all while being a supportive wife and mother.
Learn more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion at Northwell Health.