Looking Back, Loving Forward – BIDMC Celebrates Pride
Chloe Meck (BIDMC Communications) 617-667-7367, email@example.com
JUNE 14, 2019
Recognizing the challenges, resiliency and triumphs of the LGBTQ community, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) celebrated Pride Week with a series of activities.
This year’s Pride theme, which aligned with the city of Boston’s theme, “Looking Back, Loving Forward,” represents the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that marked a major turning point in the gay civil rights movement. BIDMC community members came together for a screening of the WGBH documentary “Stonewall Uprising,” reflecting on the 1969 raid by the New York Police Department on the Stonewall Inn.
In addition to the film screening, the BIDMC community participated in a toiletry collection for the Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center, a lunch social, and BIDMC’s annual Pride Celebration.“Thank you for all that you do to open your hearts to members of this community,” said Jo Ayoub, Senior Director of Organizational Effectiveness at BIDMC, addressing BIDMC community members at the medical center’s annual Pride Celebration. “The small things – and sometimes the not so small things – make a tremendous impact every day on all who walk through our hallways.”
Each year, the Pride Celebration serves as an opportunity for the BIDMC community to gather together in reflecting on BIDMC’s values of respect, dignity, inclusivity and compassion.“It is our legacy of inclusivity and equality for all through our programming, education, research and employee rights that allows us to do this work and fulfil our mission of providing extraordinary patient care,” said Judith Bieber, Chief Human Resources Officer at BIDMC.
The event’s keynote speaker Russ Lopez, PhD, a historian and published researcher, shared local historical insights of the LGBTQ community, noting the compassionate care BIDMC provided during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Before joining together as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, both the New England Deaconess Hospital and Beth Israel Hospital were among the first in the nation to undertake research on the causes and treatments of AIDS and provide a safe space for patients and families.“There is no metric for kindness, but if it had a volume, the sheer kindness that happened here would fill an ocean,” said Lopez. “It didn’t happen by accident. The people here made a conscious decision to reach out and be nice to people in their hour of need.”
BIDMC culminated the week with more than 100 BIDMC community members, friends and family walking in the Boston Pride Parade.