Culture Day at South Miami Hospital

By Raquel Garcia….

South Miami Hospital employee Colin Apparicio plays the steel drums, common in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Apparicio, along with nearly 100 other hospital employees representing more than 60 cultures, shared food, art, music and information about his native land with his co-workers at the hospital’s “Cultures Come Alive” event.

There is one dynamic day each year at South Miami Hospital when the more than 60 cultures represented by the hospital staff awaken. The annual Cultures Come Aliveevent is a unique opportunity for employees from all departments to unite for a celebration of cultural diversity. This year’s event, held in the auditorium of the Victor E. Clarke Education Center located on the hospital campus, brought together nearly 100 staff members representing more than 40 different cultures from Pakistan to Poland, Colombia to China, Grenada to Guatemala and India to Iran.

“At a time when so many people are worried about whether or not they will still have a job tomorrow, we get to celebrate a day where we show all employees that their managers and directors care enough about them to have a special day; a happy event to experience culture and remind us all that South Miami Hospital is a great place to work,” explained Nurse Manager Angela Montaque. Ms. Montaque is chairperson for the Culture and Diversity Council at South Miami Hospital that organizes the annual cultural fair as part of a larger initiative focusing on cultural competency.

“Cultural competency is a way for us to instruct employees on how to understand and develop a more effective way to care for our patients from different cultures,” said Ms. Montaque. “Teaching staff more about the divergent backgrounds represented by an international hospital such as South Miami Hospital is integral to be able to provide optimum services to patients and guests of the facility.”

The event opened with a parade of flags, which featured staff cultural ambassadors dressed in their finest cultural regalia carrying flags from each representative’s native home land. A path of white linencovered tables featured various artifacts, food and posters while cultural representatives were on hand to share information and offer visitors a “take-a-way.” Take-aways included a health consideration or cultural recipe, such as the authentic hummus recipe provided at Israel’s table, or the traditional home remedy offered by Linden Blossom at Poland’s table.

This year’s event culminated with a Junkanoo band, based on the Bahamian festival with colorful parades of brightly costumed people dancing to the rhythmic accompaniment of cowbells, drums and whistles.

Chief nursing officer and event organizer Kathy Sparger said that the most rewarding part of the day is to see how excited and proud hospital staff are to be a part of the event. “The room is so energized after we launch the program with a prayer and pledge of allegiance, and the excitement and smiles all around you are contagious,” she said.

To find out more about Cultures Come Alive and services at South Miami Hospital, contact Marketing and Public Relations Manager Bethany Rundell at 786-662-4577, email bethanyr@baptisthealth.net or visit www.baptisthealth.net.


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1 Comment on "Culture Day at South Miami Hospital"

  1. learnaboutbob | July 26, 2011 at 3:39 am | Reply

    I never new there was culture day interesting. http://aboutbobb.wordpress.com/

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