Baton Rouge, La. – During the month of February and throughout the
year, Baton Rouge General recognizes and celebrates the achievements and
valuable contributions of all the ethnicities, cultures and religious
backgrounds that make up our communities and strengthen our nation. Recently,
at a January 23 service honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr., Baton Rouge General gave special recognition to Lucinda Clark,
Catherine Jackson, Earl Dean Joseph, Gwendolyn Miller and Ethel Rucker,
who were among the first African American nurses to work at Baton Rouge General.
Noting the courageous legacy of the nurses, Baton Rouge General’s
President and CEO Mark F. Slyter referred to this group of nurses as a
shining light in the midst of a dark and difficult time when our entire
nation struggled with embracing diversity in communities, schools and
hospitals. During the ceremony, Slyter acknowledged that this time in
our nation’s history reflects a regrettable past that communities
have worked tirelessly to reverse, and noted how far we have come today
in embracing and celebrating diversity.
“Baton Rouge General extends unending gratitude to all those, past
and present, who have selflessly dedicated their lives to diversity, equality
and service,” said Slyter. “Our hospital has a rich history
cultivated from both faith-based and ethnically diverse roots. Recognized
for embracing diversity at every level, Baton Rouge General's team
of caregivers reflects the many different spiritual and cultural backgrounds
of the communities we serve – a glowing point of pride for our organization.”
The service also featured Dr. Ernest Mencer, Baton Rouge General’s
Regional Burn Center Medical Director, who spoke about his experiences
as one of the first African American surgeons at Baton Rouge General.
Other speakers at the service included President and CEO Mark F. Slyter,
Volunteer Chaplain Johnette Davis, Pastor Ruth Brown, Chaplain Pat Davis,
Senior Vice President of Community Relations George Bell, and Reverend
Pictured at Baton Rouge General’s January 23 service honoring the
legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: (Front row, L to R) Ethel Rucker,
Gwendolyn Miller, Earl Dean Joseph, Catherine A. Jackson and Lucinda Clark;
(Back row, L to R) George Bell, Senior Vice President of Community Relations,
Baton Rouge General; Ernest Mencer, MD, Medical Director, Baton Rouge
General Regional Burn Center; Mark F. Slyter, President and CEO, Baton
Watch the LPB story on the first African-American nurses at Baton Rouge General.
Courtesy of Louisiana Public Broadcasting –
Baton Rouge General acknowledges the 1950's as an undeniably difficult
time period when our entire nation struggled with embracing diversity
in our communities, schools, and hospitals. These circumstances reflect
a regrettable past for human kind - a time that communities have worked
so tirelessly to reverse.
Today, Baton Rouge General shines forth in a new era - an era where diversity
is a glowing point of pride. Recognized for embracing diversity at every
level of our organization, Baton Rouge General's nurses and entire
staff reflect the communities we so humbly serve.
The General's faith-based legacy spans more than a century, and its
circle of caregivers includes thousands of diverse men and women who have
devoted their hearts and minds to the ideals of providing exceptional,
compassionate care and healing to those suffering from illness and injury.
Our hospital extends unending gratitude to these women, and all our fellow
caregivers, past and present, who have selflessly dedicated careers to
improving lives and strengthening our community - the mission that defines
Baton Rouge General today.