September/October 2016, Healthcare Executive Magazine - excerpted below:
by Gary L. Park, President of UNC Hospitals
North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill opened its doors in September 1952. Its mission was simple: Improve the health of all North Carolinians—from Murphy to Manteo, as we like to say here in the Old North State.
More than 60 years later, the principles behind that vision remain the same. Today, we strive to provide healthcare that blends expertise and empathy for our community, no matter where our patients are from or what health challenges they have. For the past 10 years, UNC Hospitals—which includes N.C. Memorial, N.C. Women’s, N.C. Children’s, N.C. Neurosciences and N.C. Cancer hospitals—has hosted an employee-run multicultural fair to celebrate diversity, provide education and promote tolerance of differences. Every year, on the first Friday in November, our hospital lobbies—connected by a single hallway—fill with music, dance, food, exhibits and crafts. Employees from around the world share their cultures with each other, introducing their colleagues to the places they lived before they called North Carolina home.
Two years ago, a group of employees in our environmental services department formed a gospel choir—the Environmental Services Gospel Choir—to sing at the fair. The performance brought down the house, so to speak. The EVS Gospel Choir was so popular that it continued to receive requests to sing in patient rooms, at hospital events and in the hospital chapel long after the multicultural event where it first performed. Its role at UNC Hospitals was documented in an Emmy-nominated video.