Using Travel to Shape Healthcare — in conversation with June Collison

Talking Trends
3 min readJul 18, 2023

Our world is filled with an unimaginable variation of landscapes, people, and societies. Technology has streamlined global interconnectedness, but any media cannot compare to the experience of traveling to a new place. Visiting an area with an entirely different way of life than your own is incredibly enriching — not only do you broaden your own perspective, but you can share your experience with those around you at home.

We’re in conversation with June Collison, a value-oriented, positive impact creator. Driven by solutions and highly experienced as a diversity advocate, June is a seasoned senior healthcare executive with over 25 years of experience.

Personally, and professionally, you have been exposed to vast international experiences. How have these experiences equipped you to thrive in challenging and uncertain solutions? How has this international exposure allowed you to appreciate and advocate for diversity? Has it given you a sense of cultural understanding and diversity?

“Ever since I ran track internationally, I’ve been traveling all over the world, and I love to travel. One particular experience in Jamaica comes to mind as an instance of international exposure enhancing my personal and professional life. To preface this: one of the primary concerns in the healthcare industry is, naturally, the patient experience. Yes, they have to be in the hospital because they need to heal; at the same time, it is also the responsibility of healthcare workers to wow them in their experience. We always strive to enhance the patient experience in any way we can.

“I was in Jamaica, walking around the resort I was staying at, and I noticed that each employee would put their right hand over their heart as I walked past them. One day, I asked an employee what the practice of using that gesture meant. They said to me that the gesture means, ‘Thank you for staying here — from the bottom of our hearts.’ I was so moved by this gesture that I didn’t even wait until I came back home to share this experience — from my resort, I called my Chief Nursing Executive and told them all about this! Fast-forward, we’re implementing this practice here in our hospital as a part of a greater strategy to embody ‘Southern Hospitality’.

“Further, my devotion to and understanding of diversity has been enhanced by my experience traveling. Many of the countries I’ve visited, including Jamaica and South Africa, have primarily Black populations. Experiencing their cultures and learning from them is not only valuable to me as an individual, but I always try to evaluate how my newfound knowledge can benefit the healthcare system to be more inclusive and inviting. I was in South Africa not long ago, and I got sick while there. A concierge doctor came to see me, and his bedside manners were unbelievable. This doctor was amazing, and I felt deeply cared for. I made sure to bring that back and help improve the way we provide patient care.

“Traveling dramatically shapes your worldview. I visited South Africa for the first time in 2019, and I remember that I thought it’d all be run-down homes and dirty cities. It’s difficult to have an accurate perception when you’d never been to a place before, and, sometimes, most of what is shown in media is only the negative aspects of a place. When I arrived there, I was pleasantly surprised — it was the most beautiful place I’d ever been to, the people were brilliant, and Johannesburg was just like Miami. I loved it so much, which is why I returned this year! It’s unfortunate that so many people have a negative view of places that they’d never been to before.

“I’m very fortunate to be able to travel, which is one reason why I bring back what I’ve learned to my team and colleagues. Visiting other places in our world shapes your perspective on life and society, and sharing these perspectives is how I use my personal love for travel for the benefit of the greater organization and industry.”

Thanks for sharing, June.

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