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Black History Month: Clinical Administrator Joshua Orenge, RN, writes about a leader who inspires him

Joshua OrengeIn honor of Black History Month, Joshua Orenge, RN and Clinical Administrator of the care center at Maranatha in Brooklyn Park, MN, tells how a well-known African American leader has influenced his own leadership.

Joshua writes: “In life there is always somebody who influences or intrigues us in one way or another. In my case, both on a personal level and as a growing leader in healthcare during turbulent times, I look up to Colin Luther Powell. Powell is ‘an American politician, diplomat and retired four-star general who served as the first African-American Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005.’
“Moving between the army and his high positions in White House Administrations, Colin Powell has a unique perspective. As an active soldier, he experienced the sharp end of political decisions in Washington. As an advisor to four Presidents, he has seen how policy is shaped and he has shaped it himself.
“His life of integrity, determination and unique perspective has helped me position myself in this healthcare field, which is always changing and has its ups and downs. His military leadership inspires me to be present, pay attention and act decisively to deliver transformation and good results for those we serve.”

Joshua answers the call to servant leadership

After arriving in Minnesota from Kenya in 1991 to study economics, Joshua took a job at Lake Minnetonka Shores to pay for school. He received education assistance from PHS to qualify as a Resident Assistant (RA) and Medical Assistant (TMA), and nursing scholarships to be trained as an LPN, followed by a 2-year program to become an RN. In the process he developed a sense of calling to serve in geriatric health care and completed a master’s thesis on nursing and transformational leadership.
Years ago, Joshua was quoted as saying about his clinical team: “Everyone is essential. I let them know this so as to win their hearts for the people we serve. I could never succeed on my own while leaving others behind. I work to build a team where we share our successes and are able to create new leaders. This is how we better the values of PHS to provide the best care for the residents and build trust with their families.”

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Further reading:
‘Strength to love’: a reflection honoring MLK Day
Love of God, nursing and diversity inspire Nursing Assistant Samuel Mutuku
‘I am because we are’: Light for the Way reflection

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