Each year, the CHRISTUS Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team accepts nominations and then selects one individual and one team as the recipient of the annual Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award. The selection criteria focus on 5 distinct characteristics:
- Promotion or demonstration of the CHRISTUS Core Values – Dignity, Integrity Compassion, Service and or Excellence.
- Added additional value – The nominee’s/team’s achievement has gone beyond their normal job role.
- Working in Partnership – The nominee/team introduced effective joint working arrangements that connect a diverse group of colleagues from multiple teams, departments or other internal or external organizations.
- Innovative Impact – The nominee/team used creative approaches, resulting in measurable benefits. (i.e., workplace environment, patient experience, associate engagement, community impact)
- Sustainability – The nominee’s/team’s initiative or practice will leave a lasting legacy and we can replicate their work across other ministries
Of the nominations made throughout CHRISTUS Health,
CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System Forensic Nursing Team/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
became this year’s team recipient.
For the past twenty-eight (28) years, the forensic nursing program at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth hospital has provided quality, compassionate care for patients of all ages, who have experienced any form of violence and abuse. Established in 1993, the first-of-its-kind, forensic nursing program began providing services to patients who experience sexual assault. St. Elizabeth serves as the only SAFE Ready hospital in the Southeast Texas community. Over time and through extensive experience, it was recognized that services of the nursing staff with this specialized training in forensics, needed to be extended. The program scope was broadened to include patients, particularly children, who have experienced other forms of violence, including physical abuse or neglect, victims of interpersonal violence, and victims of human trafficking.
The dignity of care for patients can be seen in each and every interaction, and integrity is displayed through relationships with local law enforcement and other collaborative partnerships. The team of compassionate nurses dedicated to this ministry brings a collective of 99 years of nursing and 58 years of forensic experience in service and stewardship resources to the program. They are highly educated, offering 22 specialized certifications well beyond the traditional scope of nursing, and are committed to continuously learning and educating fellow Associates, physicians, and community partners alike. More simply put and guided by scripture, this team truly embodies and exemplifies these attributes to more than 550 diverse, vulnerable patients each year.
“You will lead by a completely different model. The greatest one among you will live as the one who is called to serve others because the greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one with the heart of a servant. For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served by everyone, but to serve everyone and to give his life in exchange for the salvation of many.”