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Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Marion Hussey

Marion Hussey, RNC-OB

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Memorial is shining a spotlight on one of our remarkable team members, Marion Hussey (RNC-OB), the Labor & Delivery Educator for Women’s and Children’s Services. Marion’s journey to this pivotal role has been nothing short of inspirational, embodying the values of family, community, and discipline instilled in her from her upbringing in the Philippines.

Marion joined Memorial in 2011 and transitioned to a nurse in Labor & Delivery in 2014. Today, as an educator, her days are filled with ensuring the highest standards of care and nurturing a culture of learning and growth within our organization. She was nominated by a fellow employee, who shared, “Marion has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. She is constantly learning new things and is excited to share that knowledge with others. As our educator, she is looking for new ways to teach the staff. She is always looking for opportunities to make sure we are practicing to current standards and provide the best, the most complete, and compassionate care to our patients. She is a hard-working nurse and she loves what she does. It is not a job, it is her life’s passion.”

When asked what an average day looks like for her, Marion shared, “I am new in my role as the Educator for the Women’s and Children’s Services at Memorial. My day starts with unit huddles to check that we are prepared for the day. I set up classes both online and in-person for our employees. On hectic days, I may even relieve my fellow nurses to make certain they get their lunch breaks. Once back in my office, I work on entering data for our newborn screenings and reports. I even author and edit our unit’s weekly newsletter called “The Lady Bits” each Friday.”

Shaped by her heritage

Ramirez Clan (Marion’s mother’s family)

Marion’s story goes beyond her professional accomplishments. Raised in a village without running water, Marion’s childhood was shaped by the values of hard work, resourcefulness, and respect for elders ingrained in Filipino culture. “Living in a third-world country, one is frequently dependent upon your family and your village to survive,” she recalls. “Every day we would wait for our rations of drinking water from our city’s water truck. In Filipino culture, work and chores come before play. Excellence in school and obedience at home is what is expected.”

“There rarely were any toys much less electronics growing up, so outdoor play with neighborhood kids was common. We learned to create toys from sticks, rocks, rubber bands, and whatever we could scavenge. Leisure time consisted of climbing and eating fruit off the trees or swimming in the sea,” Marion reflects. She adds, “Respect for our elderly is demanded. Whenever we interact with someone older be it family or strangers, we acknowledge their presence by touching their hands to our forehead as a sign of respect. We call this ‘Mano-po.’ In our village, if there was a childbirth, illness, or death in the community, we all showed support for one another and offered whatever little we had to help one another.”

For Marion, family and community are not just words, but guiding principles that inform her every action. “As a result of my upbringing, I have learned to be responsible, resourceful, creative, respectful, and a fun-loving outdoor person.”

Celebrating important traditions

Marion (seated in red dress) in her backyard with sisters and cousins, 1990

Summers hold a special significance for Marion, as she fondly remembers annual family reunions and the vibrant celebrations of “barrio fiesta” in the Philippines. This is a large feast for the province’s patron, Saint Vincent Ferrer so the entire province celebrates through lots of food, parades, pageants, fairs, and lots of merriment.

She shares that “the entire family, (my mother’s eleven siblings, their spouses, and all their children) would travel to another province in the Philippines to spend time with my grandparents at their home. In a technology-filled world, it is nice to detach from the connected world to go back to my roots and spend time with family and nature. My children are still young, but I dream of taking them and my husband to the Philippines to share in my summer fun-filled adventures from my youth.”

When asked about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Marion emphasizes its importance in preserving traditions and passing them on to future generations. “It is about acknowledging our roots, remembering our traditions, and passing them along to our children,” she states.

A vibrant spirit

Marion’s last visit to the Philippines in 2018

Beyond her professional endeavors, Marion harbors hidden talents and passions. “I learned to speak English by listening and singing along with songs,” she reveals. “If you ever see me in the hallway, ask me what my favorite song is. It is unlikely I will give the same answer twice. If you interact with me and I suddenly break out singing, feel free to join in!”

Marion’s love for karaoke, cooking, and gardening reflects her vibrant spirit and zest for life, enriching both her professional contributions and personal interactions.

As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, let us not only honor the diverse cultures and contributions of individuals like Marion but also recognize the richness that cultural diversity brings to our community and health system.

Thank you, Marion, for your dedication, compassion, and unwavering commitment to excellence in nursing and preserving cultural heritage.

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