Honoring Our LGBTQ Elders

Tell us a little about yourself… I am a 64 year young lesbian. I have been with the person of my life Leitner for 31 years. We have two 4 footed children Onyx and Paulie and one amazing adult daughter an amazing artist.  I grew up with my familiarity of the LGBTQ community in Mt. Vernon and PRIDE at the Dell. I am a therapist by profession and advocate by nature. My role in the community today is to advocate for all with an emphasis on our Elders which we will all become eventually become hopefully with grace and nature. […]

Pandemic Pride

Baltimore Pride coordinator Lakesha Davis has led Baltimore Pride through two of its most unusual and difficult years. After a second somewhat muted, mostly virtualized Pride season, what’s in store for the fall? Richard Finger sat down with Davis to find out . How long have you been involved with planning Pride festivities for Baltimore? I started in 2017 as part of my internship for my Master’s program. I was trusted into the position of chairing the entertainment committee. The following year, I was the Pride chair running the entire festival. I have been blessed with an awesome team to help […]

Hopeful and Optimistic

I first wrote about what it was like to work in Human Resources at a hospital during COVID last Spring.  I never thought I would be writing about again six months later.  I think we’ve all learned about ourselves and each other since then.  Hearing daily stories of COVID-related deaths and how many bodies in the morgue has taken its toll.  I had done my best to compartmentalize the horrific tragedies happening in the hospital, and to remain focused on my work.   My ability to do this has eroded over time. I find myself becoming irritable, defensive, and short with […]

These Are Unusual Times

Last month, I wrote about what it’s been like to work in a hospital during the time of COVID-19. What’s changed since then? I’d say quite a lot. The question really is, of all that has changed, what will stick? Basic change management principles tell us that when we make changes, we “unfreeze” and then “refreeze” after changes have been completed. This basic principle is very simplistic. Once reality sets in, we soon realize refreezing may not be possible depending on the scale and speed of changes. From my perspective, there are two major changes that have rocked all our […]

Working Through COVID-19

I don’t think I really understood what it would be like to work in a hospital when COVID-19 hit us. No, I am not on the front line caring for patients, but I am right in the thick of things none the less. Prior to COVID-19, my role in Human Resources found me focusing on retention, engagement, compliance, and reinvigorating our Diversity Council. It seemed as if overnight, things changed. I was now educating myself on National Incident Command training and became part of our hospital’s Incident Command Center; my new jobs became Support Branch Director, and Personnel Manager. In […]

White Space at Work

On a road trip back from Virginia, I listened to an interview with Juliete Funt, CEO of White Space at Work. I had listened to her about a year ago, but listening to her a second time reminded me of the importance of White Space, at work, and at home. What is White Space? It can be defined as a strategic pause between activities. It can be as short as a few seconds, to as long as a few hours. “These thoughtful pauses laced throughout the busyness of the workday are the oxygen that allows everything to catch fire,” says […]

Employee Wellness

Working in the healthcare arena has opened my eyes to the increased focus on mental health, and the importance of employee wellness. In years past, employers had the mindset that stress inducers were primarily emanating from personal or home-life situations. This thinking has evolved to acknowledge stress is also emerging from the workplace. In response to rising levels of stress, employers are rising to the challenge. According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) 90% of US employers are offering some component of mental health coverage in the form of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), mental-health coverage, substance […]

Look What I Just Read!

In reading through the latest edition of Human Resources Executive magazine, I came across an article close to my heart, “How D&I Can Drive Business Success.” The article does a wonderful job laying out the many reasons why diversity in the workplace is still not where it needs to be, and balances that with a deeper understanding of inclusion. In the US, workers filed over 76,000 complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2018, with charges of retaliation accounting for just over 50% of complaints, followed by discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, disability, and race. This isn’t […]

The Right to Disconnect

In reading through the fall issue of HR magazine, I came across an interesting article that would seem odd to an American audience. The article focuses on France and Spain’s increased effort to decrease workplace stress by allowing employees the right to disconnect from electronic devices while not on duty. In our society, where exempt employees seem to be on the clock sometimes 24/7, this approach may be something to consider as we look at our own work-life balance. Specifically, the article cites that the blurring of the line between work and personal time, and the accompanying stress and intrusion […]

Coping With Death at Work

Certainly not an uplifting topic, but something that does happen on occasion is the death of a coworker. Whether this coworker was diagnosed with an illness months prior, or the death is sudden, the loss of a coworker is one of those things that can impact everyone. It is in these times where managers and staff will reach out to Human Resources to ask, “What can we do, or what should we do for our team?” The answer to these questions may vary depending on situations, but the subsequent paragraphs will provide some guidance. What I usually tell these managers […]