As the old saying goes, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. I say, “Inspired by the example set by my parents, how could it?”
I grew up the daughter of a pediatrician, Harold Ford, who, in 1963, along with two other physicians, formed the first minority medical group practice in the state of Ohio. Together, over the course of 50 dedicated years, they served the community of greater Cleveland, caring for families across multiple generations.
My father also worked to ensure that medical services be provided for chemically-dependent women and their children. And, in 1971, he was co-founder of the American Sickle Cell Anemia Association, where, along with colleagues, he pioneered awareness of this devastating disease.
At the other end of the spectrum was my mother, Muriel, a special lady whose gifts could not be measured in title or degree. A musician and lover of learning, she had a gift for creating beautiful life experiences for me and my three sisters – usually connected to the arts and culture. It was from my mother that I learned about inclusivity. Throughout my upbringing and beyond, Mother welcomed people from all backgrounds and cultures into our home. She possessed a deep wisdom and she loved and nurtured all, endlessly – family, friends, strangers – and watched over everyone who ever entered her world.
My own education and professional inclinations took me in the direction of Diversity and Inclusion and Talent and Organizational Development. For 15 years, I’ve strived to continue my family’s legacy of diagnosing human needs, determining root causes of unworkability in our healthcare systems, and working to equalize health care outcomes for all people, while supporting the healthcare professionals called to serve those in need.
The road to health care equality and inclusion is a challenging one. Over the years, I’ve found that there’s no shortage of issues to uncover, gaps to fill, and services to improve.
Inspired by my parents’ legacy of service, I feel that I’m destined to travel this road.
It’s a long road. And, yes, it is sometimes difficult.
Thankfully, I come from strong and dedicated stock.
MORE ABOUT MY BACKGROUND
Because I’ve had exposure to a variety of business and organizational cultures over the past 15 years, I understand that health care is a team sport that requires deep collaboration, one of my strongest suits. No, one person, with a single perspective, can solve all the issues at hand. I presently find myself at a juncture to leverage all my years of experience and collaborative skills towards the end of health care inclusion and equality for everyone. I co-create solutions that improve results. This is the work of people who care deeply about other people. You can’t hand this work off to an automated machine, yet.
A few more details…
I’ve got more than 15 years’ experience in learning, leadership, and organization development across multiple industries, including Kimberly-Clark Health Care (now Halyard); financial services; logistics; media; automotive; retail, and telecommunications.
And, I’m a former strategic talent and organizational effectiveness consultant at Ascension Health (the world’s largest Catholic/non-profit health system in the United States). There, my responsibilities included organization development, talent management, change leadership, performance management, and culture transformation.
EDUCATION and AFFILIATIONS
- Bachelor Degree in Human Ecology; Cornell University
- Master Degree in Human Resources Management; New York Institute of Technology
- Certified Human Capital Strategist (HCS) and Strategic HR Business Partner; Human Capital Institute
- Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) Association for Talent Development
- Certified Diversity Professional (CDP); National Diversity Council
- Certified Facilitator; ONEJAX University of North Florida Diversity & Inclusion Community Discussions
- Chairperson, Florida/Jacksonville National Diversity Council
- Board Member, JAX Chamber of Commerce Health Council
- Member, American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
- Member, Mayo Clinic Social Media Network
- Regular contributor to the ATD Healthcare Community of Practice Monthly Newsletter
- Co-facilitator, Leadership Development Panel Discussion, 2017 ATD Healthcare Summit