Black History Month gives us all the opportunity to reflect on the contributions and achievements of African Americans today and throughout history. It is also a moment to observe strides made and strides needed, to achieve social justice and equity in all areas of life. At Northwell Health, the strive for equity is two-fold: equity in healthcare and equity in the workplace. To help meet the needs of our communities and those of our team members, we established our Bridges BERGs. Our cultural ambassador groups help educate and provide a platform for more inclusivity and help further a positive work environment for everyone regardless of background, religion, abilities, or race.
“The African American and Caribbean BERG provided a community for team members to be themselves while educating others on cultural differences,” says Ralph Thomas, senior operations manager of Emergency Medicine at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream. As co-chair for the African American and Caribbean BERG, Ralph is gratified in knowing that the BERG makes a difference for all at Northwell. “In addition to always keeping advocacy for the communities we serve as a top priority, our members engage in various community service projects such as operating COVID testing sites, holding educational program panels, offering leadership development seminars, and putting together learning opportunities to increase mental health/self-care awareness.”
In honor of Black History Month, the African American and Caribbean BERG and Northwell are proud to launch the first African American cohort of the Management Accelerator Program (a six-month mentorship that concentrates on advancing the career development of diverse leaders within the organization). In addition, our African American and Caribbean BERG will host several virtual events aimed at reigniting humanism. In a presentation by Joey Hubbard, chief training officer of Thrive Global, participants will acquire science-backed micro steps that reframe thoughts of doubt or weakness in oneself into conscious awareness of belonging and collective resilience. In a similar tone of self-care and personal development, team members will also hear from Dr. Myia S. Williams, research psychologist at Northwell, on valuable tips and information that can help manage stressors and promote mental well-being in the black community. These events, and others planned throughout the month, are focused on making an impact toward the goal of achieving equity and fostering a healthy environment that inspires all to succeed.
Marking observations of progress in equity is one of the many ways we at Northwell keep an open dialogue on diversity, inclusion, and equity. Learn more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion here. You can read more about our Management Accelerator Program by reading our blog here.