Four BWHers were recently honored with Lotus Awards for their commitment to teamwork and fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion.
During a ceremony in Bornstein Amphitheater on April 20, each of the recipients received a crystal lotus flower in recognition of their efforts. The honorees were Barbara Kalinowski, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, nurse director of Radiation Oncology, in the category of “Leader”; Cheri Blauwet, MD, of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Orthopaedics, in the category of “Licensed Clinician”; Maxine Rose, Nursing staffing coordinator, in the category of “Non-Clinical Support Staff”; and Margarette Marcelin, Tower 7C patient care assistant, who received the award in the category of “Clinical Support Staff.”
“Inclusion is about feeling respected and valued for who you are, and the goal is to find ways to celebrate everyone,” said Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN, FAAN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services. “The Lotus Awards help us stay true to our goal of ensuring BWH is a place where all patients, families and staff feel welcome and cared for.”
The Lotus Awards were established in 2014 by the departments of Nursing and Patient Care Services to recognize staff members who promote excellence, diversity, teamwork and inclusion at BWH. The award was named after the lotus flower, which represents self-awareness and growth to full enlightenment, knowledge and openness. Instrumental in leading this work is the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, co-chaired by Shelita Bailey, director of the Office for Sponsored Staff and Volunteer Services, and Martha Jurchak, PhD, RN, director of the Ethics Service.
Blauwet, who is a Paralympic athlete in the sport of wheelchair racing, reflected on the importance of diversity, both for patients and staff.
“We know that true excellence in patient care requires recognition of the many backgrounds that our patients bring with them when they enter our doors,” Blauwet said. “We need to move forward to encourage open conversations about all different aspects of the diversity that we represent. To restate something a mentor once told me: ‘Patients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’”
‘The Seeds of Hope’
Following a prayer by BWH chaplain James Ojo, attendees heard from Ron M. Walls, MD, BWHC executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“We have a very diverse patient population, and it’s important that we embrace and celebrate our diversity and understand how best to serve each and every one of our patients,” Walls said.
Recipients display not only a spirit of grace and gratitude, but also an appreciation for acceptance and inclusion as they care for others, said Dani Monroe, the first chief diversity and inclusion officer at Partners HealthCare.
“Their examples are what we should acknowledge and expect from all of our colleagues at BWH and across the Partners system,” Monroe said. “Yes, the nature of our world is often muddy waters, but like the lotus flower, the recipients have risen out of mud and transformed our lives with the beauty of their care. Beginning with the seeds of hope, recipients continue to grow and develop with a resiliency that saves lives and offers acceptance and inclusion.”
Recipient Marcelin said that “teamwork, safety and love” are three words that guide each of the awardees in their approach to work.
For Rose, receiving the award solidified that her work at BWH has a great impact on the people she cares for. In addition to having her mother and grandmother attend the ceremony, Rose was overjoyed to have her 8-year-old son, Jason, there to witness this milestone in her life.
“He’s my daily dose of motivation,” Rose said. “I hope, by example, my son follows suit and yearns to do even greater things in life.”