NOEMS Appoints Diversity Officers
New Orleans EMS is happy to introduce our newly appointed Diversity Officers. As we advocate inclusion and celebrate diversity in the workplace, we now have appointed a team of liaisons who stand in unison, demonstrating a safe and cohesive environment in which to promote, recognize and understand diversity in the workplace while honoring everyone's rights as human beings.
The appointment of Diversity Officers evolved over the last twelve months. It began with the LGBTQ+ liaison we named last June. Leadership quickly conducted departmental training on cultural competency and transgender patient care, but soon after the appointment, realized that one person alone could not do all of the work. Additionally, we realized that one individual could not adequately reflect the diversity of our agency or of our community. We welcome the following appointed Diversity Officers: Derek Blanchard, NRP, Heather Currie, NRP, Logan Johnson, NRP, Samuel Mayora, NREMT, Fredrica Thompson, NREMT and Liliana Varela, NREMT.
“Diversity does not equal preferential treatment for others; however, it encourages everyone to have a voice and creates equal opportunity to use their talents.” - Dr. Emily Nichols, Director of New Orleans EMS.
We acknowledge the evidence showing disparate levels of healthcare amongst marginalized persons in society. LGBTQIA+ individuals, People of Color, and people who do not use English as their first language all are victims of implicit bias when interacting with the medical community – including EMS.
“The timing of this appointment is coincidental, but serendipitous” mentions Dr. Emily Nichols. She goes on, “When we thought of the position, we had no idea how much COVID-19 would devastate New Orleans, nor did we anticipate Breanna Taylor (an EMT) or George Floyd’s deaths.” Now is the time to ensure that substantive changes occur within - inaction is an action in itself. The acts of Marsha Johnson – a gender non-conforming Womyn of Color – and so many others at Stonewall Inn promoted equity for more than just the LGBTQIA+ community in June 1969.
Our Diversity Officers plan to do the same.