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In this season of gratitude, pass it on

Employees share how they’re grateful for their traditions and the culture that shaped them.

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This month the ABIDE steering committee asked, “How are you grateful for your culture?” The statements below are proof that culture can mean a multitude of things. Culture may not equate to race or ethnicity, but the groups you belong to, align with or the foundational values taught to you by your loved ones and communities. Culture can span divides, and through this sharing we can attempt to learn more about each other.

Robert Begg
Robert Begg, vice president, Human Resources

Coming from the Midwest, growing up in a small town and living on a farm, I believe that lifestyle engrained in me the idea that nothing is easy to come by. So, if you want to eat, you have to work to grow it. I saw first-hand how food is cultivated, how animals are raised and what it takes to ensure those plants and animals thrive so they can support us.

During this holiday season, so much of what we connect to are the foods we love and love to share. So, I am grateful that I don’t take that for granted. That piece of my culture, that work ethic, has served me well in my life. I tried to raise my children with that same ethic, even though we only had a few chickens and a garden, not acres of land and hundreds of animals to take care of.

I am also pleased that my sons all have that same appreciation for work and dedication to themselves and those they love. I appreciate that we are very blessed with abundance in our nation, and that we live in such a beautiful and bountiful place and don’t have to struggle for our next meal.

ABIDE officially kicked off its employee engagement team this month, the subgroup which will set out to curate ideas on how we can best bring forth belonging, inclusion, diversity and equity to Asante staff, through employee engagement.

Michael GrossMichael Gross, lab courier, ATRMC

“Excellence in everything we do. Respect for all. Honesty in all our relationships. Service to the community and each other. Teamwork, always.”

Growing up as a member of the church these values have been taught to me throughout my whole life. I have learned to always try to do my best to follow my Savior’s perfect example. I have learned to be respectful to all as he has. I have learned to be honest with my fellow men. I have learned the value of serving those around me.

I have learned that I cannot do any of these things alone for it requires teamwork. Am I perfect at all these things like Him? Not always, but I have learned when I fail to make amends, get back up and try again. I am thankful for Asante because its values align with what I already know to be true. Thank you, Asante, for setting a high bar. It really strengthens our little family community.

John Ownby-HibnerJohn Ownby-Hibner, Epic analyst  

I am thankful for my culture teaching me the value in my own diversity and uniqueness. It gives me an awareness and appreciation of the diversity and uniqueness of others.

It guides me in my own personal, emotional and intellectual growth, and the acceptance of myself and those around me.

Makenzi Liles-LoganMakenzi Liles-Logan, CNA2, ARRMC Central Transport

I am a part of the Ko-K’wel (Coquille) Indian Tribe in Coquille, Oregon. They have helped me in several ways with furthering my education. When I got my CNA license 1 and 2, they fully paid for it.

I plan to attend Linn-Benton in Albany for their surgical technologist program. A new grant will fully fund the entire program (tuition, fees, books and supplies). The tribe will also provide money every month that I am in school for traveling and food no matter how long the certification takes to achieve.

A few of the things I am thankful for when it comes to my tribe includes the community and family we have built. We have come a long way as a tribe and being able to have all these benefits is amazing.

The Ko-K’wel (Coquille) Indian tribe originated in southwest Oregon and has a strong oral history that tells of many known villages that would have spanned between Bandon and Myrtle Point on the lower Coquille River all the way to lower Coos Bay at South Slough. The Coquille tribe roamed over 1 million acres of land, practicing native traditions that promoted healthy ecosystems and prosperous communities.

As the Coquille Indian Tribe navigated the loss of lands from several treaties signed with U.S. government between 1851 and 1855, they have persevered in spirit and hold strong to many of their native traditions.

The tribe states that, “Since the tribe’s 1989 restoration to federal recognition, we have regained ownership of about 10,000 acres. Though a mere fraction of our ancestral territory, these restored homelands are a priceless legacy. As members of the present-day Coquille Indian Tribe, we feel uniquely blessed to be stewards of these lands we call home.”

While the tribe continues to build their community’s future, they are dedicated to three goals: elder care, health care and education. Because of this vision, tribe members like I have had a chance to further my education in health care.

To learn more about the Ko-K’wel (Coquille) Indian Tribe visit coquilletribe.org.

Barbara Mclaren
Barbara Mclaren, HR analyst

I’m thankful that my mom has always been open to new ideas and growing. She evolved from an upbringing that was very bigoted to being very open-minded and loving.

Genevieve PredmoreGenevieve Predmore, service desk supervisor, ITS

I am proud and grateful for coming from a family of pianists. My grandmother played piano on the radio in the 1920s and ’30s. My mother, a self-taught pianist, loved playing up-tempo, ragtime, big band and church hymns. She loved to play “The Mexican Hat Dance” (have a listen, it’s guaranteed to make you smile).

My aunt was pianist, first chair violin and concert mistress for several symphonies, including Yakima, Seattle and the Philadelphia Philharmonic. She has perfect pitch, which I also inherited.

Gratefully, I also inherited their optimism, resourcefulness and resilience. After a traumatic brain injury, my aunt wasn’t supposed to ever walk, talk, write or play piano again. Since then, she has walked along the river with me, written letters updating us on her trips to the symphony and her violin lessons, and called to joke about a piece of exploding cake that she dropped.

Aunt Maxine played for the orchestra, for the sick, for her church and for us. Her long-time friends told stories of her learning cello in two weeks to cover a sick cellist for a concert, and how she split the side of her dress when she raised her bow to start the orchestra — but kept right on playing.

I am extraordinarily proud to be descended from women like these. No matter what life throws at me, I can keep right on playing.

Andrea ReederAndrea Reeder, executive director, Asante Foundation

As long as I can remember, the day after Thanksgiving my family put out our nativity scene. It was always the very first sign of Christmas for us. I’ll never forget buying my own nativity scene when I started my family to continue our tradition. Even though my children were very young, I wanted them to be part of it. We brought out the box and carefully unpacked the figurines talking about each one as we placed them under the stable. I always reminded myself that the risk of a figurine getting broken didn’t compare to their little hands getting to hold and arrange the setting.

reeder-nativityTradition has it that Saint Francis of Assisi created the first nativity scene in 1223 when he mounted a living nativity scene, consisting of a manger, an ox and a donkey, as part of a Christmas Eve mass he organized while visiting the mountain town of Grecio.

My children are grown and starting their own families. Each one has continued this tradition in their own way. My heart is filled with joy when I get the call telling me they put out their nativity scene. Wishing you and your family joy in your holiday traditions this season.

Kristen Roy
Kristen Roy, vice president, legal officer and general counsel

I’m grateful for my French-Canadian roots — stubborn, gregarious and strong work-ethic humans. We value family traditions and large parties with endless food, including poutine.

While I hold on tightly to my French-Canadian heritage, I’m currently thankful for my mom tribe. Raising a toddler has been harder than I ever expected, especially while navigating a stressful job. I find comfort knowing I’m surrounded with others who also experience complete chaos and disarray. They are my people.

ABIDE

Kitty Sallas, coordinator, APP Patient Experience

I’m thankful my cultural identity aims forward, not back. I have forged a culture for myself and my kids that brings me joy, (I wasn’t raised with much worth clinging to). Maybe others can relate.

Over the past two decades, my husband and I have developed healthy traditions, recipes, communication, values and vision for our family that bring us fulfillment and offers betterment to others. We are glad that if carried forward to future generations, these will make the world a better place. For this, I’m extremely grateful and proud.

In December, we’re asking members of our ABIDE employee engagement team to bring a friend to our next meeting. We know the only way to create change, is to create a space for dialogue and in welcoming more interested staff, not just leaders, to the table. We encourage you to reach out if you are interested in joining ABIDE. You can email our team at [email protected].

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