Get To Know: Dennis Henderson | Broadlawns Celebrates Black History Month

This Black History Month, Broadlawns is celebrating by highlighting a few of the many amazing Black individuals who make an impact every day at our hospital.

Dennis Henderson

Job Title

Program Coordinator, TECH & TEACH Apprenticeship Programs 

Tell us about what you do in a typical day.

I start my day off with a light workout, motivational message and some coffee. I arrive to work around 7a-7:30a. I check/answer emails, texts, and phone calls. Go over the daily agenda for the program, my scheduled appointments, make sure all the participants are accounted for, and then get everyone to their assignments. Next I have a brief debrief with Lindsay Fett my direct report, where we discuss what happen and what needs to happen. My responsibilities are varied, so a lot depends on what phase of the program we’re in. I could be doing trainings (BLS, Proact, Implicit DEI, etc.), or I could be doing recruitment, meeting with partnering agencies, or doing presentations at schools, or organizations, or meeting with people who support TEACH/TECH. I also represent BMC at community and social events.

How long have you worked at Broadlawns?

5 years.

What attracted you to a career in healthcare?

I was born at Broadlawns and I lived in the Broadlawns area most of my life. I always wanted to work at the hospital because of the prestige that hospital work has in our community. Fast forward to 2015, I was blessed to be in on the conversations with former BMC CEO Jody Jenner and former Executive Director/Founder of Urban Dreams Wayne Ford regarding the enhancement of a program that originated at John Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. This program became the TEACH/TECH Internship, and I was asked to be the coordinator based on my work with people from underserved populations. You can image how elated I was to have this lifelong dream come to fruition.

What do you like about working at Broadlawns?

I was allowed to work directly with CEO Jody Jenner, Wayne Ford, and my direct report was a good friend Earl Kilgore. They all allowed me to grow the program and taught me so much about the corporate culture and professionalism, and I subsequently get to pass these lessons on to the young people who participate in our program. The HR staff was/is always cordial and are opened to my perceptions and ideas. I’ve had the opportunity to work with staff throughout the hospital, and I can say without hesitation or reservation that this experience has been wonderful.

Name a Black American(s) you admire and think people should learn more about.

Ella Chapman, a young woman who got pregnant at 14 years of age and was compelled to drop out of school to care for her child. Who overcame abuse and single motherhood. Who later went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree while she was in her 50’s. Who is now the founder of Ellainspires (a woman’s motivational agency).

Jeff Wallace, a young man who was incarcerated at the tender age of 17. A young man who was thrust into Iowa’s most dangerous prison Ft. Madison Penitentiary. Who got out and went on to get his Master’s Degree and is working on his PhD. Who now audits Juvenile Retention Facilities, and runs a popular Podcast.

Ryan Ford (the son of Wayne Ford) a young man who sacrificed his football scholarship to pursue his dream. A young man that took on college debt so he wouldn’t have to live with regrets. Who is now the President of Cashmere Agency (one of the top social media companies in LA).

To me it’s more important for people to read about relatable people who share their experiences.

What books by Black authors do you recommend?

Visions for Black Men by Ni’am Akbar, Think and Grow Rich by Dennis Kimbro, Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker, and Native Son by Richard Wright.

What does it mean to be an inclusive healthcare provider?

Inclusion means more than just participating in the meeting(s), or having a prominent title, it’s having a voice at the meeting(s) and that voice is accepted and respected.

What ways do you challenge/invite others to honor Black history, this month and beyond?

I challenge all people to study the past with empathetic eyes in the hopes that we will all be humbled by what we learn. We didn’t get here by chance or happenstance, there were people who suffered, struggled and died, so we could live our best lives!!!