MIAMI (CBSMiami) – This Women’s History Month, CBS4 is celebrating the accomplishments of women in our community.
The latest spotlight is on Marie Sandra Severe, the newest executive at Jackson Health.
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And as you’ll find out, her connection to the hospital system runs deep.
She was recently named the Senior vice president and chief executive officer of Jackson North Medical Center in North Miami Beach.
“My greatest hope is to ensure the hospital shines and the people who look and see me in a seat like that, that they can understand this can be them,” Severe said.
Severe’s story is one that’s familiar to many in South Florida.
The child of Haitian immigrants, Severe was the first person in her family born in the U.S. Guess where? At Jackson Memorial Hospital!
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“My story alone I’ve been fighting from the womb. I was born at six months and three weeks. Nothing was given to me,” she said. “While not always easy, while not always smooth, especially being a Black woman in this industry, I think what’s innate in women is strength, fortitude and the fight. And I think that has propelled me through my career.”
Severe grew up in Liberty City and Allapattah, attended G. Holmes Braddock High School and got her master’s degree in public health from Tulane.
She says her grandmother was her inspiration.
“She sent my mom to this country from Haiti,” Severe said. “She didn’t know how to read but she absolutely made sure her kids had the best. So she’s always been the pinnacle. Right next to her is my mother.”
Severe is the second Black woman to hold this position in the health system, but she says those characteristics alone don’t define her.
“Nothing that I have wasn’t earned,” she said. “And so many individuals who sit in seats like mine have the exact same story. We have to change the way we think. It’s a lot of wasted time and effort to focus on someone’s external and not realize and appreciate what they bring to the table.”
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Severe says she’s honored to take on this new role overseeing the 382-bed facility, adding it’s a responsibility she does not take lightly.