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Doug Lawson, PhD

Celebrating our community’s diverse voices

By Doug Lawson, PhD, Senior Vice President of CommonSpirit Health – South Division

October 19, 2023 Posted in: Dr. Lawson Blogs , Leadership

In the years I have lived in Houston, I have come to realize that many sometimes take this city for granted. Most people do not realize the richness of our communities, the diversity, and the opportunities this city represents.

It is both an honor and a responsibility to serve such a widely diverse community. At St. Luke’s Health, we spend a lot of time talking about what it truly means to be a team. Very few things that happen in a hospital are the result of a single individual—they are the result of teamwork. Our teams are made up of a number of professional groups, support groups, and more, working together.

In my mind, each of these groups is strengthened by its diversity. These differing backgrounds bring a variety of opinions, experiences, and perspectives that give us a more holistic view of the community we serve and the care they deserve.

Our job is to seek out the voices that make our community great, and that begins within our own walls. That’s why the St. Luke’s Health team has put in the work and dedication to enact an array of significant DEI initiatives. Among my favorites is our Listening to Our Voices series, which highlights team members and shares how their backgrounds impact their work. 

One example is Ryan Gibbons, Director of Quality and Patient Safety Director of Patient Care. As a fourth-generation nurse and member of the LGBTQ+ community, he inspires us all to be more inclusive.

We also highlight people like Mary Zacharia, a Physical Therapist in the Performance Medicine department at St. Luke’s Health–Springwoods Village. Born and educated in India, Mary has spent more than 20 years in the United States. She shares her experiences of both negative interactions with discrimination and positive moments with coworkers who took the time to learn about her and her perspectives, and uplifted her when she needed it the most. 

My hope is that the individuals participating in this series understand the importance of their stories. But, more importantly, I hope the people watching these videos can see that these important people embody humankindness around the clock as they play vital roles within our organization.

If you would like to watch the Listening to Our Voices series and hear some additional employee perspectives, you can find the full playlist of videos here.

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