Vincent Matthews

“Juneteenth Means Everything to Me”: Vincent’s Impact in Diversity & Inclusion

Jun 17 2022

Meet Vincent Matthews, coordinator for older adult services at Mercy Health — St. Vincent Medical Center.

In his position with our ministry, Vincent serves as a liaison to guide families through complex geriatric issues, address spiritual and emotional concerns as well as coordinates medical services. In addition to his medical role, Vincent also volunteers his time as a member of our ministry’s Leadership Council for Diversity & Inclusion.

“I am inspired about contributing to the work of our Leadership Council for Diversity & Inclusion in my community by creating a safe space for all people to have respectful and honest conversations,” Vincent shares. “I’m committed to providing valuable information and engaging in safe dialogue.”

Diversity & Inclusion is an important strategic priority for our ministry. This is because we know excellence in this area allows us to better support our team members, care for our patients and better serve our communities.

With Juneteenth, the national celebration of abolishment of slavery in the United States, coming up, Vincent feels it is important to share how he plans to celebrate.

“Juneteenth is a day to honor Black history in America,” Vincent shares. “As an African American, on this day we must acknowledge, remember, learn and take action. Juneteenth was the day the last enslaved people were freed from captivity. Therefore, I will celebrate and reflect upon what it means to be free.”

At St. Vincent Medical Center specifically, Vincent shares that team members there will honor the federal holiday with a Juneteenth prayer service in the Immaculate Conception Chapel on Friday, June 17.

“We will gather for prayer, read scripture and have a deep reflection on the liberation of Black Americans,” he adds.

As for others wanting to observe this holiday in a meaningful way, Vincent encourages individuals to take this as an opportunity for education. 

“My advice for people who want to celebrate Juneteenth but don’t know how is to research and ask questions about the progress and opposing forces on the struggle for Black freedom in our country,” he says.

Juneteenth gives Vincent hope because he feels the focus is not only on what Black Americans endured but also on their capacity to love themselves, all people and uplift their communities.

“Juneteenth means everything to me!” Vincent shares. “Juneteenth’s connection to the Mission of Mercy Health is to work for justice and to be champions of peace. I’m honored and proud our ministry is honoring the holiday and is boldly committed to its mission and values.”

Learn more about our mission and values as well as how they inspire the work we do at Mercy Health.

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