Broward Health Honors Black History Month

Debra Allen, Garrett Coke, Antionette John, Jean Metayer and Sandra Powell

Submitted By Lineth Fernandez

In honor of Black History Month, Broward Health is honoring employees from across the system as they share the importance of Black History. Learn about famous Black Americans who have inspired them, and how these employees have shown resilience in their own live.

“This Month Serves as a Reminder That Black Americans Have Played a Vital Role in Shaping Our Country.”

Sandra L. Powell, HTL (ASCP), QIHC, is a regional lab/respiratory manager at Broward Health Medical Center who has been part of our employee family for the past 18 years.

As a Black woman in science, Sandra was first inspired by Dr. Marie Daly, a biochemist, and Dr. Katherine Johnson, a mathematician. “These women were trailblazers during a time when women, especially women of color, were often told that those careers were designed for men,” Sandra said. “They shattered many glass ceilings and received much-deserved respect through their work and contributions to the world.”

Today, Sandra continues to be inspired by Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a Black female scientist who played a critical role in the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “Her knowledge, tenacity, and visibility encouraged so many people to trust science,” Sandra said.

For Sandra, celebrating Black History Month is important because it helps to ensure that the contributions and experiences of Black Americans are not forgotten.

“For much of American history, the contributions and experiences of Black Americans have been largely ignored or marginalized in mainstream narratives,” Sandra said. “By learning about and honoring the accomplishments of Black Americans, we can gain a deeper understanding of the complexity and richness of our shared history.”

“It’s Important to Remember Where We Came From So We Can Understand Where We Are Now, And Stay Focused on Where We Are Headed.”

Jean Metayer is a financial analyst at Broward Health North. He’s been a part of our employee family for 20 years.

For Jean, celebrating Black History Month is important because it’s a time to reflect on the past, understand the present, and stay focused on the future.

Jean has shown resiliency in his own life when he immigrated from Haiti with his family in the early 1980s, especially when he and his brothers had to go to school.

“The struggles were real,” Jean said, “Number one, I’m black, and number two, I’m Haitian. But my dad did not believe in missing school, so no matter what, my brothers and I had to tough it out. My dad would say ‘ale lekol, Bondye avew,’ which means, ‘Go to school, God is with you.”

Jean draws inspiration from Georgia-based pastor Creflo Dollar because he represents five things that keeps him motivated and inspired: God, respect, love, education, and family.

“Celebrating Black History Month Keeps Us in Remembrance of the Sacrifices and Achievements of African Americans.”

Antoinette St. John, BHSA, is a specialty care operations manager at Broward Health Corporate. She’s been a part of our Broward Health family for the past eight years.

Antoinette is inspired by Ruby Bridges, the first African-American child to desegregate an all-white, Louisiana elementary school in 1960. “She was subjected to such rejection by those that thought she did not belong,” Antoinette said. “However, through her bravery, she was able to create a foundation that promotes change through education.”

Like Ruby Bridges, Antoinette shows resiliency in her own life by making each day meaningful, regardless of setbacks. “I have learned from every experience and have grown from each one of them,” she said.

“Black History Month is About Celebrating Black Accomplishments, Which Gives Hope to Those Who May Feel Marginalized and Hopeless.”

Garnett S. Coke, MBA, MSA, ARM, CHEC II, is the director of public safety at Broward Health Corporate. He’s been a part of our employee family for nine-and-a-half years.

One famous Black American who inspires Garnett is Dr. Maya Angelou, the legendary author, poet, and civil rights activist who passed away in 2014. Garnett actually had the chance to meet Dr. Angelou. “It was an inspirational conversation,” he said. “She dedicated her life to improving the lives of all human beings, and inspired everyone who came in contact with her to have a positive impact on others with her presence.”

Garnett said it’s important to celebrate Black History Month because it offers an opportunity for reflection. “Without awareness of the past, we cannot be thankful for the present, or hopeful for the future,” he said.

Garnett also acknowledges how his own life is a part of Black history. “It is important to focus on how my actions can impact others,” he said. “I practice optimism, and instill hope in others.”

“We’re Celebrating the Contributions That Black Americans Have Made to Mankind.”

Debra Allen has been a senior staffing coordinator at Broward Health Imperial Point for the past 19 years.

Celebrating Black History Month is important to Debra because it’s a time to honor the contributions that Black Americans have made to the United States and the world.

“It demonstrates that perseverance, prayer, and the will to succeed are paramount in continuing the struggle to be equal,” Debra said. “Those before us have sacrificed themselves in this endeavor.”

One famous Black American who has inspired Debra is the one and only Oprah Winfrey. At 19, Oprah was the youngest news anchor and the first Black female news anchor at a TV station in Nashville, Tenn. “Oprah is a giver at heart. She gives Black women the courage to take risks and if they fall, they don’t have to stay down if they have the will and mindset to preserve.”

Debra perseveres in her own life by remaining calm and implementing effective coping mechanisms in order to stay grounded. “This is really effective when handling criticism,” Debra said. “It is important for me to always encourage our staff to be the best they can be.”


About Carma Henry 21575 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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