Listen to Orchard Garden Elementary School students recite a portion of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech:
On the morning of Jan. 19, BWHers gathered in Bornstein Amphitheater for the hospital’s annual celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During the celebration, BWHC President Betsy Nabel, MD, announced that she, along with BWFH President Michael Gustafson, MD, MBA, have signed the #123forEquity Pledge to Eliminate Health Care Disparities, sponsored by the American Hospital Association (AHA).
“Dr. King’s spirit is very much alive today in our hearts and minds as we at Brigham and Women’s Health Care work to reduce disparities in health care and improve the health of our communities locally and globally,” Nabel said. “As a country and as a community, we have made significant progress in achieving Dr. King’s vision of a more just society, but I think we can all agree that there is still work to be done.”
The AHA and four national partners in the Equity of Care initiative encourage hospitals to take the pledge to work to accelerate achievement of the three areas of the initiative’s call to action: increasing the collection and use of race, ethnicity and language preference data; increasing cultural competency training and increasing diversity in governance and leadership.
Nabel said BWHC is committed to identifying health care disparities and strengthening efforts to address inequality: “Our goal is to ensure the health and well-being of the communities we serve.”
The moving tribute to Dr. King, presented by the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners, also included several attendees from around the room reciting inspirational Dr. King quotes and a gospel concert performed by Gary Lyon and Living Water.
2016 BWH YMCA Achievers Award recipient Neldine Alexandre, MS, BSN, RN, of Tower 11, was also honored at the event. Alexandre, a nurse-in-charge, received the award for her various volunteer activities, including serving as a mentor for Roxbury Community College (RCC) students as part of BWH and RCC’s mentoring partnership, which focuses on increasing diversity of the nursing workforce at BWH.
Another highlight of the tribute was a passionate and powerful recitation of a portion of Dr. King’s well-known “I Have A Dream” speech by Orchard Garden Elementary School’s first-grade class. Dressed in their school uniforms, students lined up in two rows at the front of Bornstein and enthusiastically recited the speech, which received a standing ovation. Guided by their teacher, Mrs. White-Dottin, the students have also presented the address to Gov. Charlie Baker and President Barack Obama.
Listen to the students’ full recitation: