In addition to music and dance performances, there was homemade food available representative of more than 24 different countries.
“International Night celebrates the diversity of our team members here at the hospital, which is essentially celebrating the diversity of our community” LIJ Forest Hills Executive Director Lorraine Chambers Lewis, PA-C, said. “Many of our team members live here in Queens and this annual event is a massive celebration of culture, food and fashion. Now more than ever, this is a great time to see how much more that we have in common and to celebrate the things where we’re different. This brings us together as a hospital family to better serve our patients.”
This annual event dates back to a decade ago, when the night staff at the hospital said they felt left out of celebrations held during the day. In response to this concern, the hospital administration initially set out to hold a Thanksgiving celebration just for the overnight workers. However, the administration soon realized they could make something even more special and celebrate all the different countries and cultures represented by staff. LIJ Forest Hills employees account for 35 different languages, representing cultures from around the world.
Some of the founding members of International Night include LIJ Forest Hills Assistant Nursing Director Miriam Chapman, RN, Paula Campbell, RN and Emergency Department Clerk Christine Hughes. Each of them were on hand for this year’s celebration, during which they also received official citations from U.S. Rep. Grace Meng and Council Member Lynn Schulman for orchestrating the inclusive celebration.