Empath Health Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Karen Davis-Pritchett, MEd, shared a special afternoon among African American community leaders on April 16 in downtown St. Petersburg.
The Woodson African American Museum of Florida paid tribute to First Ladies in African American History at a luncheon. Davis-Pritchett was one of the 2023 honorees along with Sharmain Andrews, Sherron Rogers and Valerie Powell-Stafford. The 2022 First Ladies – Dr. Sandra Braham, Dr. Cynthia Johnson, Bemetra Simmons, Erica Sutherlin and Donna Welch – also received recognition. Jeanne Milkey and Rev. Mardie J. Chapman received the 2022 and 2023 Winnie Foster Lifetime Achievement Awards, respectively.
The museum recognized these women for their dedication and trailblazing contributions within our community and beyond. The leaders hold positions across several sectors, while making significant impacts within the community. They are role models and advocates as they impact the organizations they represent.
“First Ladies in African American History was born of an idea to exemplify female Black excellence. The award symbolizes the museum’s highest award of excellence as a trailblazer, pioneer, high achiever and creator of legacy who exemplifies resilience, resistance and respect while reaching goals,” Woodson Museum Executive Director Terri Lipsey Scott said. “The program recognizes Black females who are ‘first’ in endeavors where color barriers were broken. Karen Davis-Pritchett is an area standout who has broken several ceilings, engaged in the community and is the epitome of grace, compassion, excellence and uplift.”
Davis-Pritchett acknowledged Empath Health, her employer since 2016. Empath created a vice president-level position to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. Empath CEO Jonathan Fleece, Chief Access Officer Rhonda Sanders and Community Partnership Specialist Keosha Simmons joined her for the luncheon.
The Woodson Museum’s mission aligns with this focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
“The Woodson is known for programming courageous conversations that have helped to shape positive, inclusive and respectful ideas surrounding race and equity,” Scott said. “The museum has become the epicenter for bringing people together in a safe space to discuss differences and foster commonalities. The Woodson is a well-regarded entity within our city and beyond and has received rave reviews for building partnerships and spanning bridges to unite.”
Davis-Pritchett said she was thankful for the opportunity to have conversations, make connections, create educational tools, ask the tough questions, lead an extraordinary team and be there when a family is making an important healthcare decision. This award is the culmination of those experiences and the support of the leadership team, she said.
To learn more about Empath Health’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative, visit EmpathHealth.org/Diversity-and-Inclusion.