Our Stories

Breaking Barriers in Healthcare

Rebecca's Black History Month Story
  • Share This Story
Rebecca's Black History Month Story

We connected with a few Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) team members to gain insight into what Black History Month means to them and to reflect on their experiences. We are grateful to these amazing individuals for their willingness to share their thoughts and stories. 

Rebecca Opoku

Rebecca Opoku

Emergency Department Registered Nurse and Clinical Mentor

Black history to me as a black woman, is about strength and resilience, it’s about remembering our ancestors struggles while celebrating their achievements.

Black history encapsulates the beauty of our diverse heritage, highlighting the richness of our culture, contributions, and the unyielding determination to overcome adversity.

I have been a registered nurse for 12 years and I have worked at OTMH for 5 years. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing Degree with a Minor in Psychology from the University of Windsor. I currently work in the emergency department and most recently have become 1 of the 4 clinical mentors in the emergency department.

As a black woman in the medical field, the challenges I face are overcoming stereotypes, biases, and also limited representation.

In terms of triumphs, I believe breaking barriers, achieving success and inspiring generations are part of my triumphs. Becoming one of the clinical mentors is something I see as breaking a barrier. I felt that it was important for me to pursue this position, as I did not see anyone who looked like me in a leadership position in the emergency department. I hope that my being in this position inspires current and future generations to seek out leadership roles.

My hope for the next generation, is seeing a continuation of breaking barriers, and inspiring more people to seek opportunities that they may not see themselves achieving.

As Canada is becoming more diverse in culture and race with so many immigrants migrating to this great nation, I hope that this diversity will be shown in our hospital administration. I hope that diverse representation will be resembled across all the hospitals in Canada.

My biggest role model is my mother. She came to this country with many obstacles in her way. While being a single mother caring for three children, she was able to become an entrepreneur and create a successful business for herself.

As a young child, I never went without anything that I needed. So much so I didn’t even realize that we weren’t as well off as my friends or people I would see around me.

I would attribute my success to seeing my mother work hard and achieve her goals. Which inspired me to pursue my goals even when others told me it may not be something that I can achieve.