Lorie V. Thibodeaux – Celebrando las culturas
Celebrando las culturas
I spent most of my life traveling back and forth between my mother’s birthplace of Panama City, Panamá and New Orleans, Louisiana (my hometown). In my trips to Panamá, I spent a lot of time immersing myself in culture and tradition. On one of my many visits at an early age, mi abuela alerted me there was going to be a parade. I was so excited! I began counting down the days and begun preparation for the exciting event. When the day arrived, people lined up among the streets, music and traditional Panamanian food filled the air, bands played, and floats passed by. The city was so alive. Being a New Orleans native and having a Panamanian background allowed me to connect the big event to Mardi Gras, the biggest party in the world. I began to scream “Throw me something Mister”, a phrase commonly used during parades in New Orleans. However, I suddenly realized that they had no connection or understanding to the phrase. The Panamanian parades and Mardi Gras had a common theme, but contrasting details, similar to the human race. I recognized that these cultural experiences opened my mind to new perspectives and ways of thinking. Those open minded perspectives have evolved into the way I think now in patient engagement. We are unique in our backgrounds and that is what makes the world so beautiful. Experiencing two different cultures in my life has fostered an appreciation for the true expression of my authentic self as well as, for others. Understanding diversity in healthcare goes pass labels. Understanding diversity in healthcare can transform patient outcomes and patient experiences. Diversity and Inclusion are about giving value to every patient, no matter our differences.