This Black History Month, we are celebrating Black excellence and highlighting a few of the many amazing individuals who make an impact on patient care and hospital operations. Ebony Hunter, M.D., a pediatric emergency medicine physician who has worked at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital since 2018, answers a few questions about working at the hospital and what Black History Month means to her.
Tell us about what you do in a typical day.
In a typical day in the Emergency Center, everything is a surprise. I come for my shifts, which are various days and times throughout the month. I disinfect my workstation, make sure I have all my protective gear, and I take care of patients as they come. Some days are busier than others, and some days, kids are sicker than others. It just depends on who needs emergent help that day. I also do various quality projects and educational duties outside of my clinical duties, but that varies depending on the project.
What is your favorite thing about working at the hospital?
I really like my colleagues in the Emergency Center and the staff overall. Having a great team makes the day go by faster, and I truly enjoy my time at work.
This year's Black History Month theme is The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity. What does embracing the representation, identity and diversity of Black people look like to you?
To embrace the representation, identity and diversity of Black people, first and foremost, it needs to be understood that it is an ACTION and not simply words of philosophy. There is much literature that reports that Black people are underrepresented, unsupported, and ultimately, become unfulfilled as it relates to educational, socioeconomic, health and career equity. Having entities and institutions truly champion policies and programs that address these conscious and unconscious inequities, and ultimately, level the playing field, is what we need. We don’t need to be only viewed as “Black ambassadors” to a philosophy. We need non-Blacks to pick up the torch and help us create an ethos that truly speaks to equality in every way. It’s important that diversity and inclusion not try to “manage Blackness” to preserve a status quo, but instead, truly embrace and accept Blackness to shift the status quo.
Name a Black American you admire or think people should learn more about.
Past, Josephine Baker, and presently, Rosalind Brewer. Josephine Baker was the first Black woman in which I saw Hollywood produce a biopic. And while biopics are not always historically accurate, this communicated to me that Black women were important enough that “The Hollywood” wanted to tell stories about us. This is/was huge! This was valuable! This was inspiring! I was represented on TV and that was unheard of growing up.
Presently, Roz Brewer, who is slated to become the CEO of Walgreens next month, is forcing the financial world to do the same thing for her. The business world is telling us Black women know business, and they execute it well! Both of these women represent very capable and intelligent Black women who have broken many glass ceilings in their respective fields. The overt barriers and the microaggressions they likely endured to do so makes their capability that much more encouraging and their success that much more savory.