How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
We moved to Spring Hill in 1982 from Chatham, Ontario, Canada.
Who are the members of your family?
My husband, John, now retired, and I have three sons. Wil is married to Tricia, and they live in Greenville, S.C.; Rusty is married to Julie, and they live in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Brad is married to Amy, and they live in Arvada, Colo. Our children attended Hernando Christian Academy.
Tell us about your career.
I've been a registered nurse since 1967. I've worked in Washington; Oregon; California; Chatham, Ontario; and now Florida. I received my bachelor's degree in nursing in 1969, and received my master's in 1993.
I went on medical mission trips to Uganda in 1987 and to Belize in 2002.
In the early '70s, I worked at Stanford Hospital, helping patients awaiting heart transplants. I taught clinical nursing in Canada for a two-year program for RNs, and taught an EKG course at a community college in Ontario, Canada.
From 1982-89 I worked at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point; from 1989-99 I did home care; from 1999 to 2002 I worked for Bay Care Hospital System, and from 2002-07 I was with Bay Care Home Care, covering seven counties. Since then I've been at HCA's Oak Hill Hospital.
In 1995, I became a certified wound ostomy continence nurse. Each year, the Florida Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse Society holds a conference. Members receive educational updates, and vendors present their new products. As a member, I attend each year, and this year the conference will be a cruise to the Bahamas.
What kinds of other activities are you involved in now?
I'm a member of the bell ringer group at Faith Presbyterian Church in Brooksville. We play for church services, as well as for outside organizations at times. The group is led by Jerry Childress.
I'm also a member of the Hernando County Ostomy Association, where I assist with the newsletter, address labels and help secure speakers for monthly meetings. I also assist helping ostomates with ostomy problems, sometimes over the phone or setting up meetings to assess problems and troubleshoot to find a solution.
I'm a board member of the Florida Association of Enterostomal Therapists and serve as director of nominations. And I'm an ambassador for Oak Hill Hospital, attending health fairs, giving interviews for radio, etc.
Tell me more about the ambassador role.
With Oak Hill Hospital's approval and encouragement, I often speak at Hernando County Ostomy Association support group meetings, offering support and education to those who have had ostomate surgery, such as a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy. Ellen Boldt is the new president. For information about the association, call Boldt at (352) 597-5426 or Vera Petranek at (352) 597-0079.
Do you have any special hobbies?
I crochet, knit and cross-stitch, and I like to garden. I play the piano, organ and bells. I also love to travel to see our grandchildren and John's family in Holland.
What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?
I love to visit Pine Island late in the afternoon, enjoy a barbecue, a game of Frisbee and watch the sunset. I love tubing on the Weeki Wachee River and walking in the woods behind our house with our dog.
What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
An ostomy clinic for my patients with ostomies, and a good bookstore with coffee.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
I used to be so shy in high school that people thought I was "stuck up."
Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at email@example.com or (352) 848-1438.