To celebrate Black History Month, we have been publishing profiles of medical leaders of color from a range of functions and professional experiences to spotlight how diversity makes us stronger, more vital.
Mickie Long, Business Manager, Radiology Services, St. Joe’s Oakland
How has being a person of color shaped your experience as a health care leader? Being a black male health leader provided an opportunity to learn from other cultures and what others have to offer outside my experience. Being open to other cultures, religions and people helped me grow and achieve a lot in life. As a young man I experienced a number of challenges including homelessness, along with obstacles placed in my way by individuals and organizations – which did not define me. Staying focused and willing to change and having my own goals kept me moving forward, driving toward new careers that included 8 years of service in the U.S. Army, HVAC repair, Law Enforcement and auto mechanics, before I discovered radiology 20 years ago. While it seemed like the odds were against me at times, I kept pursuing my education, earning an associate’s degree and then completing my bachelor’s degree. I was also able to surround myself with people who kept me motivated in programs where I continued to grow personally and professionally. When I started in this field I knew very little about medical imaging, but I saw a future here and have never looked back, only forward.
What or who has been an inspiration to you during your journey? Nobody succeeds in life all by themselves and there have been too many people to name who inspired me. I can say my mom’s grace and patience with people was an inspiration. My dad’s firm guidance gave me balance and direction when I needed it. Sometimes even the people who doubted me provided inspiration to keep going. As I read about Malcom X, his transition toward building relationships and moving toward unity provided a model that I still use. My fourth grade teacher Mrs. Tellis who supported and appreciated me provided another foundation. My brothers and my children along with pastors all provide a caring, spiritual life that guides me every day. I also need to recognize the positive and respectful leadership of Karin March, Shannon Striebich, Keyantee’ Davis and Virginia Chambo. The big picture is that there is a lot of support here and room to grow.
- Education: Associates Degree: Oakland Community College. Bachelor’s Degree: Ashford University, graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Health Care Administration program.
- Expertise: Radiology, 20 years of experience.