18
February
2021
|
00:00 AM
Europe/Amsterdam

Greatness, Sacrifice, Perseverance, What Black History Means to Me

Summary

As a leading national medical group, we are proud to represent the country's diversity in our teams and the patients we serve.

Our teammates reflect on what Black history means to them, who inspires them and why it takes everyone working together to improve the healthcare system and the health of our communities. Read their stories below.

Jerome S. Cephas, MD, JD

Jerome S. Cephas, MD, JD

Dr. Jerome Cephas is an emergency physician in Dallas, Texas. He’s been practicing for nearly three years. Before pursuing a path in medicine, he earned his law degree.

What does Black history mean to you?

The belief that we can become something great is what Black history means to me. It is only because of my peoples’ perseverance during decades of torture, mistreatment, sacrifice and dehumanization that I am able to be what I am now. Black history is also more than a month of celebration to me. It is something that I often keep in my mind to remind myself that no matter how bad things get, I can overcome them.

Is there a Black person who has inspired you personally or professionally?

I am inspired by all the efforts of our ancestors as they faced their version of adversity and persevered. Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks are some examples.

What’s the most important thing you want people to know about Black history/culture and diversity, equity and inclusion?

The effects of yesterday did not end when yesterday ended. Black people still feel the impact of the socio-economic environment our forefathers faced throughout the decades. Systemic racism continues to challenge the social advancement of Black people.

You are making an impact in the work you do every day. What do you want your legacy to be?

I want to inspire Black youth so they understand that if I am able to become a physician, they can too. 


Tameika Anderson, MSN, RN

Tameika Anderson, MSN, RN

Tameika Anderson has more than 15 years of healthcare delivery and administration experience. She currently serve s as the Senior Clinical Services Director at AMSURG, supporting 10 multispecialty ambulatory surgery centers. Before stepping into this role in late 2020, she served as the Center Administrator for Palm Endoscopy Center in Orlando, Florida.

What does Black history mean to you?

Black history is my history, the history of my predecessors and ancestors who paved the way. It’s important that their stories, experiences and contributions are represented. For many years, our history was eliminate d from the American story, but it’s important to understand the struggles and important roles African Americans played in shaping this country.

How do you celebrate Black History Month?

Black history is celebrated every day in my household, not just one month of the year. During Black History Month, there is particular focus and engagement on highlighting the achievements and the struggles of Black Americans through books, the arts, church and public programs and media.

Is there a Black person who has inspired you personally or professionally?

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American to be professionally trained and work as a nurse. She was also one of the first Black members of the American Nurses Association. The nursing profession is not very diverse. I represented one of the three black nurses accepted into my nursing class of 50 in 2004. Her story inspires me to continuously be a change agent and reshape the narrative.

What’s one piece of advice you would give Black people who may be interested in entering the healthcare field and/or becoming a clinician?

It’s a great career choice. I foster this ideal every day when I lecture my nursing students. There’s the self-fulfillment of knowing that you directly helped care for someone. The field is multi-faceted and full of many opportunities. There’s always work to do.


Kris Sanders, FACHE

Kris Sanders, FACHE

Kris Sanders is the Vice President of Operations at Envision and Co-Executive Sponsor of Envision’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative. She is based in Dallas, Texas, and has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare operations.

Why is diversity, equity and inclusion important in healthcare?

To fix the problem, you have to acknowledge that there is a problem. There are huge disparities in healthcare that we have the true potential to remove. 

What does Black history mean to you?

To be honest, this year, it means something different. After facing the struggles and pains of 2020, Black History Month forced me to realize that if the pain our ancestors felt was worse than the pain that I felt in 2020, then I have to continue to work hard to overcome these challenges for future generations.

How do you celebrate Black History Month?

This year, I have decided to read more about our history and celebrate the triumphs we have made. I am currently reading “Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care” by Dayna Bowen Matthew. I am learning so much about the history of our American healthcare system that I was not taught in school. 

Is there a Black person who has inspired you personally or professionally?

My mother. She had to drop out of college when she was pregnant with me. When I chose to go away for college, she was the only one in my family who supported me. After I received my undergraduate degree, my mom was inspired to return to college at the age of 50. She went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees while working full time.

She tackled every challenge with strength and class, even while losing her job and healthcare benefits. As a result, she missed all her annual physical exams – including her mammogram. In late 2013, when going to the emergency department for back pain, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. 

While visiting my mom during one of her hospital stays, I told her about my new job as Vice President of Operations at Envision. She said, “I’m so proud of you. When I get out of here, we are going to celebrate.” We never got the chance to celebrate. On my first day in the new position in 2016, my mom passed away.

Since then, I have dedicated my life to carrying on her legacy of caring for others — mentoring young women to pursue their dreams and educating people on the importance of preventative care.


Christopher J. Scott, MD, CPE, FACEP

Christopher J. Scott, MD, CPE, FACEP

Dr. Christopher Scott has been caring for patients for more than 20 years. He serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for Envision’s Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist programs in the West Florida Division. In this role, he manages the care delivery and operations of 24 emergency departments and inpatient medical units throughout the Tampa Bay, Sarasota and Port Charlotte areas in Florida.

What does Black history mean to you?

Black history is a chance to celebrate the many accomplishments of people of color who are often overlooked by mainstream history venues.

Is there a Black person who has inspired you personally or professionally?

My mom inspired me. She always taught me to believe in myself even if no one else does. She also taught me to stay true to my moral compass to find the good in life.

What’s the most important thing you want people to know about Black history/culture and diversity, equity and inclusion?

People should be aware of the many positive contributions of Black culture to the United States. We are stronger as a nation when we embrace our differences. Attempts to suppress or avoid what makes us different are destined to fail.

You are making an impact in the work you do every day. What do you want your legacy to be?

I treated everyone regardless of class, creed or differences as I wanted to be treated.


Hope Ring, MD, FACEP

Hope Ring, MD, FACEP

Dr. Hope Ring has been an emergency physician for more than 20 years. She serves as the Director of the Level 1 geriatric emergency department and the Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director at a hospital in Livonia, Michigan.

Why is diversity, equity, and inclusion important in healthcare?

Simply put, everyone deserves the right to equal and quality healthcare. To achieve that, we need to have representation and diverse voices in healthcare.

Is there a Black person who has inspired you personally or professionally?

In my second semester of college, I considered taking a break because of financial reasons. I was new to the United States from Jamaica and I didn’t have any resources or knowledge of the U.S. college system, much less how to apply to medical school. My chemistry professor convinced me to stay in college and apply for a scholarship and begin my medical school applications. He was an amazing mentor that selflessly gave up his time and knowledge to help me succeed. He made me promise to continue giving back and always be a mentor. To this day, I work to give back to my residents, patients and teammates like he did for me.

What’s the most important thing you want people to know about Black history/culture and diversity, equity and inclusion?

People of color have a long history of distrust with the medical field going back to the times of slavery. As a medical community, we must recognize the racist history of medicine, such as the Tuskegee experiments, and work on rebuilding trust.

You are making an impact in the work you do every day. What do you want your legacy to be?

That I was a great mentor to many people – male, female, Black, gay, etc. I want to make a difference in peoples' lives like my mentor did.