Healthy Times

LFCHD Employee Newsletter

Johnson wins Diversity Award from Urban League

LFCHD’s Mark Johnson recently received the inaugural Individual Champion of Diversity Award from the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County.

The Urban League has been a champion of the civil rights movement, diversity and inclusion since its inception in 1968. The League believes diversity:
• promotes personal growth by encouraging critical thinking
• enriches the educational experience by including different beliefs and perspectives
• strengthens our community by fostering mutual respect and appreciation for others; and
• enhances economic competitiveness by using the talents and abilities of all our citizens to find creative solutions, explore new avenues, and diversify wealth opportunities.

The League’s Diversity Awards are presented to recognize an individual and business who embrace, celebrate and apply holistic inclusion and participation of a diverse people. The following was the introduction used to present the award to Mark:

The inaugural Individual Champion of Diversity Award is presented to Mark A. Johnson.

Mark has spent his entire career and community service efforts in the promotion of cultural diversity. His work has not been limited to a particular population or area of interest, instead he works tirelessly to advocate for understanding and equal treatment for persons in regard to ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic status.

Mark received his Master of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Louisville and is a graduate of the Kentucky Public Health Leadership Institute.

Mark has worked with the Postposing Sexual Involvement and Reducing the Risk program, the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program, Bluegrass Aspendale Teen program, the Southern Community Cohort Cancer Study, AIDS Volunteers of Lexington, and various minority health activities for African-Americans and Latino Communities.

He is a National Coalition Building Institute diversity trainer and has assisted the medical center in offering day-long trainings throughout the University of Kentucky Medical Center campus. To assist the College of Nursing implement its curriculum thread on diversity, he has conducted diversity trainings for each entering undergraduate nursing class since 1999. Through his facilitation, students become aware of stereotypes and gain an understanding of how such stereotypes can lead to less than optimal patient care and outcomes. Students begin to recognize the filters and attitudes they may bring to the patient encounter as well as attitudes and filters the patients may bring. Such awareness allows students to develop relationship skills that facilitate understanding of the client’s frame of reference, essential in planning safe, competent care tailored to that patient.

Mark’s influence on cultural competence in the community stretches far and wide, from influencing students, to facilitating continuous improvement in caregiver competence, to reaching the entire community through service agencies as well as major community events. As Assistant Director of William Wells Brown Elementary School, he has coordinated a very successful community weight loss program which has received local, state, and national attention. This effort unites people of many cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientation.

Mark is able to generate awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures through his work with the LGBT community as well. He is currently involved in a LGBT Community Health Assessment for Lexington which has included several focus groups, survey developments, and other groundbreaking work for Lexington and the state. Data from this survey will be used to implement specific programs in the LGBT community in January 2013 and will be used as a cultural diversity training tool for local healthcare professionals. On an individual and group level, Mark is an expert at challenging stereotypical perceptions and helping others learn to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds.

Please join me, the Urban League of Lexington, and the 2012 Ambassador of Diversity award sponsor, National Diversity Solutions, in presenting the inaugural recipient of the Individual Champion of Diversity Award to Mark A. Johnson.

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