By Steve Blanchard - June 26, 2023
Amid a crowd of an estimated 300,000 attendees, about 30 Moffitt Cancer Center team members, their spouses, families and friends represented one of the cancer center’s core values — inclusion — at the 2023 St. Pete Pride Parade.
While it isn’t the first time Moffitt has participated in the Southeast’s largest LGBTQ+ Pride parade, it was a first for many of those involved this year. UNITY@Moffitt, a team member engagement network that supports LGBTQ+ team members and patients, organized the center’s involvement and worked to involve as many as possible.
“I’ve always been proud to be a Moffitt team member and the existence of UNITY brings me a sense of joy and fulfillment in my workplace,” said Laura Bosselman, UNITY chair and the manager of patient experience at Moffitt. “Representing UNITY at Pride shares that the culture of Moffitt is accepting and welcoming to the LGBTQIA+ community. Leadership gives us a platform by consistently celebrating inclusion.”
UNITY is the cancer center’s longest running team member engagement network and has participated in Pride events on both sides of Tampa Bay. But that celebration isn’t limited only to parades and street festivals. Pride is also celebrated on Moffitt campuses.
As in year’s past, UNITY raised the Progressive Pride flag over Moffitt’s Magnolia Campus on June 1 to recognize Pride Month.
That moment, Bosselman said, brought the most poignant memory of this year’s Pride celebration.
“A patient’s caregiver emailed leadership explaining that she and her wife had flown in to be there for her mother’s surgery,” Bosselman said. “Through all the thoughts in her mind, it being Pride month was not at the forefront. She wanted to let us know that Moffitt publicly supporting the queer community was a bright spot for her and her family.”
Moffitt employs more than 8,500 team members across several campuses, and participating in events like St. Pete Pride help reinforce Moffitt’s values of diversity and inclusion, Bosselman said. It’s a message everyone can get behind.
“Celebrating Pride and taking part in the celebration on behalf of UNITY@Moffitt lets employees, patients and their families know they are heard, they are seen, and they are perfect exactly as they are,” Bosselman said.