On June 16, Escel Catambay, RN, BSN took the reins as the fifth Diversity Fellow at BWH, bringing a strong nursing background from her experience as a staff nurse in the Medicine and Surgical units at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) as well as a diverse cultural heritage.
A native of the Philippines, Catambay grew up in the San Francisco Bay area before coming east to attend Boston College. Working as a patient care assistant at MGH during her college years, she just “fell in love with nursing.” Today, Catambay is only two months away from completing her master’s in Nursing Administration at Northeastern University and is thrilled to be transitioning into the role of Diversity Fellow at BWH.
“Having nurses that can relate to patients on all levels – clinically, emotionally, spiritually, and cultur-ally – is so important,” said Catambay, who will continue to cultivate programs such as the Diversity Mentorship program and Diversity Cultural Grand Rounds, established by her predecessors. “I see this position as a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness and commitment to culturally competent care.
Launched in 1998, the Diversity Fellowship program is designed to train talented nurses of minority populations for management positions at BWH, while focusing on increasing the number of minority nurses at the hospital and enhancing culturally competent care for patients. To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants must show leadership potential and have completed or be working toward a master’s degree.
“This program affords the organization, specifically the Department of Nursing, the opportunity to attract talent from a broad pool of future nursing administrators,” said Nancy Hickey, MS, RN, director of Personnel and Resource Applications, BWH Nursing Administration, who oversees the fellow’s appointment and activity. “Each fellow has shared their unique talent, enthusiasm and commitment to the nursing practice at BWH.”
Catambay is following in the footsteps of four other nurses, who all served as Diversity Fellows before her, each bringing her own expertise and interests to the position.
Sharon Perryman, RN, MHA blazed the trail as the first Diversity Fellow, focusing on the education of nursing students and developing a Cultural Competency Educational Plan for Nursing during her time in the role. Now a nurse manager of the Intermediate Float Pool and nurse administrator at BWH, Perryman is planning to pursue her PhD in Public Policy in 2004.
Following Perryman was Norma Gerton, RN, MSN. Gerton contributed to the expansion of the Diversity Mentorship Program, expanding recruitment efforts to Roxbury Community College, Curry College and the Boston and Amherst campuses of the University of Massachusetts. Gerton also laid the groundwork for the Cultural Nursing Grand Rounds.
Jacinta Telesford-Ximba, RN, MA/MBA in Human Resources Management, BSN, served as the third Diversity Fellow. While in the role, she completed and implemented BWH’s Cultural Nursing Grand Rounds, conducted the first Cultural Nursing Care Conference, participated in the Transcultural Nursing Forum, facilitated cultural events in the Mission Hill community, and contributed articles to Transcultural Care magazine.
“Each fellow brings a special part of themselves to the position, culturally and clinically,” said Telesford-Ximba, now an assistant nurse manager for 16ABCD at BWH. “What I learned most during my time as the Diversity Fellow is that it is so important to assess the cultural needs of all patients and hospital staff.”
The fourth and most recent Diversity Fellow was Marsha Tahquechi, CNM. Instrumental in incorporating a cultural diversity curriculum into the Diversity Mentorship Program, Tahquechi worked to ensure that each program participant learned how to conduct
a Cultural Health Assessment. She also set in motion a pilot program to include Cultural Health Assessments in the BWH Nursing Care Plan.
As Tahquechi moves on from BWH to her new position as director of Midwifery at Gallup Indian Medical Center (GIMC) in New Mexico, she has one piece of advice for Catambay, “Take your new role as the Diversity Fellow and really run with it, adding something that is distinctly yours.”
Catambay is well on her way to doing just that.
To find our more information on the Diversity Grand Rounds, see the calendar listings in future issues of BWH Nurse.