Observing Black History Month with Leadership Profiles in Diversity…

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.

Observing Black History Month With Leadership Profiles in Diversity…

Over the next month, to celebrate Black History Month, we will be publishing profiles of medical leaders of color from a range of functions and professional experience to spotlight how diversity makes us stronger, more vital.  

Darryl Cook,  St. Mary Mercy Livonia, Nurse Manager Inspired by Team, Passion for Service

How has being a person of color shaped your experience as a health care leader?

My experience as a health care leader here at St. Mary Mercy’s over the past five years has been great. During my leadership journey starting in the Marine Corps, I’ve been exposed to diverse leadership styles and have led men and women from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities. My prior leadership experience has prepared and given me the ability to identify with and lead people of all cultures. Being a minority in leadership has been my experience for my entire professional career and that perspective has been extremely valuable.

What or who has been an inspiration to you during your journey? Although I’ve had many inspirations during this journey, including my colleagues on the Nurse Management team, Director and CNO; my biggest inspiration has been my TEAM on 3 South. This TEAM shows up every day and they leave nothing on the table at the end of their shifts. They are one of the most selfless, motivated and professional teams that I’ve had the opportunity to lead and that’s why I love coming to work to support them as they support me.

  • Education: Madonna University Bachelors of Science in Nursing
  • Expertise: Unit Manager – Progressive Care and Stroke Unit
  • Military Service: Served nearly ten years in the Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant while serving in Japan and posts in the U.S as an Administrative Chief.

Black Men in White Coats Film Screening and Live Q&A Session with Film’s Creator

As we prepare to celebrate Black History Month, the Diversity and Inclusion Council at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is pleased to offer free virtual film screenings of Black Men in White Coats to colleagues across Trinity Health Michigan. This documentary explores the systemic barriers that prevent black men from becoming medical doctors, and has received national attention on outlets such as The Today Show, Forbes, and NPR.

The film’s description states, “Fed up with the lack of diversity among doctors, a medical doctor sets out to explore why only 2% of American doctors are black men and what that means for society.”

We will offer virtual film screenings of Black Men in White Coats on demand from Feb. 1 – 5. For an admission code, please submit a request at www.surveymonkey.com/r/BMIWC.

On Friday, Feb. 5 at 1 p.m., we will also host a live virtual Q&A session with Dale Okorodudu, MD, the film’s creator. Dr. Okorodudu is passionate about increasing the number of black men in medical school, and will spend time discussing his experiences and answering colleagues’ questions.

We are honored to offer this experience to our colleagues, and encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity for learning and reflection.