Arriving at the MGH in 1968 to complete the RN program, dignity, honor and service to our patients amidst the diversity of iconic Boston and the Vietnam War protests brought together the merging of my inner and more global worlds. Social justice concepts were forming within my complex new world.

When I graduated, I was hired by The Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service to work with Navajo people in Gallup, New Mexico, as a new graduate. I began to see the people made invisible to my high school textbooks and I discovered the impact of greed and corporate negligence as I cared for profoundly malnourished, infected 2-year-old patients on my ward. Their mothers, forced to feed their children formula, lived in hogans with no infrastructure, no electricity and no refrigeration.

The next year found me in Los Angeles where I worked for UCLA hospital in both clinical and research areas. Globalization was up close and personal. Within each person I met was a thread we shared: the passion to serve other human beings.

Being an American and a global citizen means that the difficult lessons we learn from this era are never forgotten. Paradigmatic change means that we evolve as strong, resilient, compassionate human beings who are able to set aside old axiomatic thinking that leads to stagnation. The world is calling us to evolve and become kinder, wiser and humble. This is our assignment for this chapter in history.