Cultures Come Alive to celebrate diversity at South Miami Hospital

South Miami Hospital employees gather each year to celebrate the hospital’s cultural diversity.

More than 600 South Miami Hospital employees united to celebrate their cultural diversity at the hospital’s recent Cultures Come Alive culture fair.

Celebrated in the auditorium of the Victor E. Clarke Education Center located on the hospital’s campus, the annual event raises awareness of the more than 60 nations and cultures represented by hospital employees.

From Colombia to China, Germany to Guatemala, Pakistan to Poland and Spain to Sweden — nearly 40 countries were represented by participants who modeled traditional cultural dress, displayed art and handmade items, played music and shared food.

South Miami Hospital’s chief nursing officer, Kathy Sparger, RN, collaborated with nurse manager Angela Montaque, RN, chair of the hospital’s Culture and Diversity Council, to organize the culture fair as part of a larger initiative focusing on cultural competency.

 “Cultural competency is essential in creating positive working relationships with peers, patients, and physicians,” Sparger said. “Cultures Come Alive is a powerful way to enhance these relationships by increasing cultural knowledge and embracing cultural diversity in the workplace.”

Dressed in Scottish attire, John Shaw, community representative, opened the celebration with the traditional sounds of bagpipes. During the parade of flags, cultural ambassadors dressed in clothing native to their homeland carried flags from around the world.

 Rebecca Vega, unit clerk in the Cardiovascular Care Unit, united attendees when she sang the national anthem. The tropical dance routine performed by the Aloha Islanders Entertainers was one of the highlights of this year’s celebration.

South Miami Hospital has been recognized by many in the healthcare community for its cultural diversity and enrichment programs that help employees learn about the different cultures of the patients for which they care.

Baptist Health South Florida, the hospital’s parent company, acknowledges cultural diversity as an important organizational goal and has a corporate executive leading initiatives to ensure diversity and a culture of inclusion. Baptist Health topped the list of employers with the most diversified staffs in terms of minorities, according to Fortune magazine’s annual ranking of U.S. corporations.

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