BIDMC Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

BIDMC Communications mediarelations@bidmc.harvard.edu

JANUARY 16, 2020

 

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BIDMC’s 2020 YMCA Achievers Noémia Monteiro-Do-Canto (left) and Barikisu Braimah, RN, with keynote speaker Liz Walker (center).

The theme “Togetherness: We Cannot Walk Alone” came to life at BIDMC’s 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Jan. 14.

“No one understands better than we do the importance of teamwork and the value each individual brings to our team—both in who they are and what they do,” said BIDMC President Pete Healy. “As Dr. King said, ‘We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.’”

Keynote speaker Liz Walker, Reverend of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, was Boston’s first African American television news anchor on WBZ-TV. Eloquently comparing Boston’s traffic to today’s society, she told the crowd, “You don’t have to know someone to let them in. Practice grace on the roads—I mean this very seriously. Make eye contact and be in this together. Because we will either all rise together or we will perish.”

Entertainment at the event included BIDMC’s Inspirational Singers, a performance by a teenage group called Ladies of Opportunity and Promise (LOOP), and a poem by sixth grader Erika Monteiro Tavares, from the Richard J. Murphy School, who won Boston Public School’s MLK Essay and Poetry Competition.

Each year, as the medical center celebrates the legacy of Dr. King, two outstanding staff members are honored as YMCA Achievers for how well they represent the mission and core values of BIDMC, and dedication to their communities. The YMCA Achievers Program gives Boston-based organizations the opportunity to recognize the talents, perseverance and determination of the city’s rich ethnic and racially diversity community.

Meet BIDMC’s 2020 YMCA Achievers:

Barikisu Braimah, RN, Practice Manager, Podiatric Surgery

Born and raised in Boston, Barikisu Braimah, RN, has family of Ghanaian and American decent. She began working at BIDMC nine years ago and has grown her career professionally to be where she is today. She has a passion for uplifting others and volunteers with organizations such as Big Sister, Little Sister and the Greater Boston Food Bank. She also helps coordinate the Department of Surgery’s “Socks for Sox” annual sock drive to support Boston Healthcare for the Homeless.

“Fresh out of high school, I was mentored and set up for success,” she said. “I look back and realize that my colleagues saw things in me that took me years to see in myself. I’m grateful for everyone who helped me. Giving back now gives me joy and keeps me on the path forward.”

Noémia Monteiro-Do-Canto, Community Healthcare Worker, Bowdoin Street Health Center

Noémia Monteiro-Do-Canto was born in Cape Verde and moved to Boston 36 years ago. She discovered a calling for serving people early on when she began teaching Sunday school at her church. She has worked previously with the Log School, Dorchester CARES and the Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts. Since 2011, she has been helping patients at Bowdoin Street Health Center navigate the healthcare, housing and educational systems, always advocating for the individual.

In her free time, organizes various community events, has taught English as a second language classes, and has helped students enroll in GED high school programs.

“I’m not a person of many words—I’m a doer,” she said. “I couldn’t do what I do without my team. We need each other and I need them. We’re all in this together.”

MLK Freedom March Silhouette

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a new health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,000 physicians and 35,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.