For more than 30 years Patsy Tennon has served the St. Dominic’s ministry in a variety of roles.
In her current role as director of environmental services and transport, Tennon manages the cleaning of 1.5 million square feet, distributes more than a million pounds of linen and makes more than 10,000 transports each year.
Before joining St. Dominic’s, Tennon was an area manager in the restaurant industry and wanted to work in the hospital’s food service department. She started in the dish room in hopes of moving into leadership. Her path to her current leadership role after a year in the dish room included working as cafeteria manager, diet technician, operation manager of food service, laundry director and environmental services manager.
“My grandparents influenced me the most in my career. They both were sharecroppers in Yazoo County,” Tennon says. “They saved their money to open a small grocery store. They were the first entrepreneurs in my family.”
Black History Matters to Everyone
“Black history is not just about all the tough times we have been through. It is about integrity, leadership and determination,” Tennon says. “It is about showing your true character. Black history matters to everyone. I am glad we celebrate and recognize Black history because to fully understand our nation’s history, we all need to better understand Black history.”
Some Black educators, activists, historians and pioneers that Tennon admires include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, James Baldwin, and Shirley Chisholm. James Baldwin wrote her favorite quote:
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
Having a healthcare workforce that represents the tapestry of our communities as it relates to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability and socioeconomic level allows St. Dominic’s to give the best possible care to our diverse patient populations.
This kind of workforce is important not only for patients but also for team members.
“Fostering a supportive and safe space for every employee means asking challenging questions, seeking feedback and creating discussions to build better relationships in the workplace,” Tennon says.
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 Black History Month each February.