Catherine Lewis, FNP-C, hospital medicine nurse practitioner, shares her Filipino heritage and what Asian American Pacific Islander Month means to her.
A Career in Healthcare
As a hospital medicine nurse practitioner, Lewis directly collaborates with providers to serve the patients at Behavioral Health Services. Lewis first joined St. Dominic’s as a student extern in 2012. Upon graduating from nursing school, she worked as an RN in the Emergency Department until 2014. After pursing her MSN degree, she returned to St. Dominic’s in 2017 as a nurse practitioner for the hospital medicine team.
Lewis’ parents are both nurses. Growing up in a small Mississippi community, they would frequently encounter people that her parents have taken care of over the years. Those people would talk about how much they appreciate the care they received while in the hospital or clinic setting. Lewis wanted to make the same impact with her career which inspired her to pursue a career in healthcare.
Lewis adds, “I also have a dream of returning to the Philippines for medical missionary work.”
One of Lewis’ favorite childhood memories includes celebrating Christmas (Pasko). Each year there is a Fil-Am (Filipino-American) celebration that combines both cultures and their traditions. The Christmas (Pasko) season is special to Lewis since they celebrate with family and friends all month. Lumpia (Filipino spring rolls) and Pancit Bihon (a Filipino noodle dish) are two dishes she loves to eat. These are her favorites because her family serves them for all special occasions throughout the year.
“My parents are my biggest inspiration,” Lewis says. “They came to the United States to pursue a dream and a better future for their family. It is because of their sacrifices and bravery that I can call myself an Asian American.”
Lewis also has deep admiration for Amanda Nguyen, CEO and founder of the nonprofit organization, Rise. She turned her personal experience into motivation to be a changemaker. As a civil rights activist, she continues to fight to ensure survivors have protected rights.
The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace
Lewis shares, “Diversity allows team members to embrace the different cultures within our organization and foster an inclusive work environment. Learning about different cultures also helps us understand our colleagues and patients. ‘Love thy neighbor.’”
Our DEI Commitment
Our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion supports culturally competent care education for our team members all year long, including during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month each May.