AS part of its Black History Month activities, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami has acknowledged the work of Jamaican sisters Terehas Lindo Williamson and Sharifa Lindo, who are employed there as certified registered nurse anaesthetists (CRNA).
In a statement, Jackson Memorial — the third largest public hospital in the United States — pointed to the importance of anaesthesiologists in operating theatres.
It also noted the siblings' professionalism and the hospital's commitment to a “diverse workforce and open culture”.
Lindo Williamson, 38, is older by eight years. Born in Kingston, she has worked at Jackson Memorial Hospital for 11 years. Her sister joined the staff just over one year ago.
“It is truly humbling and an honour for us to be recognised by Jackson Memorial Hospital for Black History Month activities. Anaesthesia is a vital, necessary requirement of the surgical process. It's the anaesthesia provider who monitors the patient throughout the procedure and decides on treatments that are necessary to ensure a positive outcome. We got involved because of our love for critical care,” said Lindo Williamson, a Florida International University graduate.
Lindo was born in Florida and attended the University of Miami. She said their mother Dawn, a retired certified nurses assistant, inspired their career path.
Along with their father Hopeton, a singer/songwriter and music producer, they developed a sense of black pride early in life.
“Our parents gave us African names; Terehas means blessed and Sharifa means distinguished. Black history is very important to us,” she stated.
Lindo Williamson is concerned at the lack of black CRNAs in the American health care system. She referred to a 2019 profiles study from the American Association of Nursing Anaesthesia which noted of 5,400 CRNAs in the country, only 1.3 per cent are black.
“Our ultimate ambitions are to continue spreading awareness to our black community and other minorities about our profession,” she said.
According to the zippia.com website, the number of CRNAs in the US jumped significantly to 40,327 in 2020. Only 4.3 per cent of that number are black.
Lindo Williamson addressed the significance of maintaining ties to their roots.
“Our Jamaican culture is a vital part of who we are. We enjoy our Jamaican food, party to reggae music and before the pandemic we would visit every year as we still have a lot of family members in Jamaica,” she said.