be_ixf;ym_202205 d_17; ct_50

Beacon associates reflect on the influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on their lives and their work

Associates from across Beacon Health System are reflecting today about how the life and lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continue to influence our work, our patients and our community.

Jeremy Gillespie, manager of associate relations at Elkhart General Hospital, says Dr. King’s legacy serves as a reminder of his fundamental principles, such as defeating injustices and seeking to win friendship and understanding.

“Dr. King had a mindset and desire to selflessly and sacrificially serve others, regardless of his feelings toward them or what it may have cost him. Approaching each day with this mindset affords me the best opportunity to connect with individuals and maximizes the happiness that I bring to others,” Gillespie says.

Dr. Marion Mahone, Memorial Family Medicine Residency faculty hospitalist, says caring for one another is one of the most benevolent things anyone can do. She says she strives every day to make the world a better place.

“Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation for our country, and a finer world to live in.’ I try to make sure everyone I encounter gets to experience the feeling of knowing that everything I am doing is to help them thrive,” Dr. Mahone says.

What has become of “The Dream”? Three Rivers Health RN Venita Massey believes it is alive and well and remains the responsibility of us all to see its fulfillment perpetuated.

“Dr. King’s dream was deeply rooted in the American dream. However, the dream did not begin in the minds of the authors of the Constitution or Declaration of Independence,” Massey says.

“The idea of ‘justice that rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream’ is the high ideal of the Creator who endowed us all with unalienable rights,” she adds.

Massey says there exists something within the heart of marginalized people that will not allow them to be content with manmade limitations.

“The heart that longs for justice, however, must not allow discontentment to give place to ‘wrongful deeds,’ as Dr. King eloquently stated. Justice will not be achieved using unjust and unrighteous means. The paradigm shift must occur in the hearts and minds of us all.”

Juan Ramos, Beacon Medical Group manager of coding and medical records, says he didn’t grow up learning about Dr. King, but that he sees his impact every day.

He says it’s important for us to endlessly seek his teachings and follow his examples.

“Dr. King inspired a nation to fight for the principles of beauty, love, and justice. We can’t allow ourselves to become discouraged by the daily challenges that sometimes dishearten our commitment to deliver outstanding care for those who need us most,” Ramos says.

Sandra Donaldson, administrative assistant in the Surgery Department at Memorial Hospital, advocates for all to remember Dr. King’s words:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Donaldson adds, “I’ve been able to visit Dr. King’s church in Atlanta. It was dreary outside, but it was like a warm embrace when I entered the doors. I believe the legacy he promised encourages us to connect with our heart. That’s what I felt in. his church, and that’s my hope for every day.”

Elkhart General Hospital Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services Rosetta Speights says Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s presence in our community is an expression of his belief in justice for the entire community and not for any one oppressed group.

She says she often reflects on a quote from Dr. King:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Nothing worthwhile is easy. Your ability to overcome unfavorable situations will provide you with time to demonstrate your true strength and determination for success. Always set your standards high, your greatest achievements lie within the infinite feats you achieve in your life”.

She also reflects on how Dr. King chose to serve others, a choice she, too, has made.

“Early on, I chose a vocation to be a nurse, and made a commitment to serve others,” Speights says. “What a privilege it is to have the opportunity to touch and influence so many individuals every day.”

Darice Ruth, patient service representative for the Beacon Speech Diagnostics Clinic and president of Beacon’s Black/African-American associate resource group, says the most important lesson Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. could teach us is love.

It is a value and virtue that she also works to practice in her everyday life.

“Dr. King’s long-standing values of togetherness that he practiced are still relevant today because he taught about love, social injustice, dignity, nonviolence and hope,” Ruth says. “Love always brings happiness to others and love always wins.”

About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Director of Communications. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.