At Northwell, we express our culture authentically and we believe that our culture – and our organization – is ours to shape. Northwell’s Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs) unite our team members and the communities we serve to help us continue creating a workplace where our employees feel welcome, united, respected, celebrated and included. As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor the accomplishments and beautifully diverse cultures of our Hispanic and LatinX team members. We met with three members of our LatinX Bridges BERG, Christina Giordano, senior product services and management analyst; Lisa Velasco, principal of Digital IT&S strategic planning; and Luz A. Bove, MS, OTR/L, program manager for the division of infectious disease; to ask them about the importance of these programs and how the LatinX Bridges BERG has helped support their career at Northwell.
How has becoming a BERG member impacted your career journey at Northwell?
CG: Becoming an active member of the LatinX BERG has played a large part in my career growth. I have gained confidence in various skill sets, built my professional network and participated in mentorship programs that focus on accelerated career growth for members of our African American/Caribbean Bridges, LatinX Bridges and Asian Bridges BERGs.
LV: Being part of the LatinX BERG and other BERGs provides me with a different sense of community that I didn’t even realize I was missing in my professional life before I came here. My LatinX BERG family has provided me with such incredible support. They push me beyond my comfort zone(s) but also remain absolutely by my side, ready to jump in and help if I need anything.
LB: Upon joining the BERGs, I immediately found a space where I had the opportunity to use my skillset toward projects and initiatives that I am most passionate about. This has allowed me to work alongside our senior leadership team in representing Northwell within the communities we serve.
Tell us more about activities you participate in during Hispanic Heritage Month.
CG: Hispanic Heritage Month events include awareness sessions, to salsa dancing classes, to virtual fireside chats with successful leaders within and outside of Northwell.
LV: The LatinX BERG puts together extra-special programming during the month which I highly recommend to everyone. Throughout the month I pay attention to offerings outside of work, such as showing support for LatinX artists, businesses, etc. – and seeking out more Hispanic restaurants to visit during the month.
LB: During Hispanic Heritage Month, I enjoy all of the above but also find new books written by Latino/a authors to share with my children, opening up more opportunities for us to learn about our heritage together. I encourage everyone to take one of their existing interests this month and expand their experience to try something new because you might not know how you may have been influenced by Latino culture.
What is the theme of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month and what does it mean to you?
CG: This year’s theme is Una Familia, Muchas Culturas (One Family, Many Cultures). This theme speaks not only to the BERGs, but it also speaks to Northwell as a whole. It encompasses the hope and dream for peace in this world where we truly are one family built from many cultures. It sends the important message to be kind to everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from.
LV: Una Familia, Muchas Culturas (One Family, Many Cultures) encourages belonging. Love and representation know no boundaries. All are worthy and all are welcome!
LB: To me, this year’s theme encompasses the rich diversity of our culture and how it is a testament to how each of us are one part of a much larger puzzle.
Interested in becoming a part of our Northwell Health family? Learn more about our team culture of inclusion and belonging for all.