Representation Matters

Pictured (from left): Oludare Odumade, MD, PhD; Carmen Monthé-Drèze, MD; Denise DePina Dubuisson, RN; Nilse Dos Santos, MD; and Adaobi Ikpeze, MD, BSN, RN

On a busy February morning in the Brigham’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a nurse and four physicians captured a shining moment.

“For the first time in my 15-year nursing career, I was part of an all-Black woman care team,” Denise DePina Dubuisson, RN, reflected on social media. “At a time when healthcare disparities for Black and Brown women and babies are at an all-time high, and Black and Brown healthcare practitioners are largely underrepresented, this was a sight to see and a dream to live!”

Dubuisson’s post went viral, reaching more than 600,000 views after it was shared by her colleague, pediatric resident Adaobi Ikpeze, MD, BSN, RN. The overwhelmingly positive reaction to their message underscored the team’s pride of working in the Brigham’s NICU—and their hope to see more diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare professions.

“I’m looking forward to a day when an all-female Black NICU team will no longer be the exception,” says attending neonatologist Carmen Monthé-Drèze, MD. “Meanwhile, we continue to celebrate our incredible achievements and progress as a department and as an institution.”