Listee Features — Health Care


When Jeannette Emily Barnes was born, she faced a serious and life-threatening medical condition. The hospital had never seen a case like hers before and thought she was going to die, but she beat the odds because a surgeon there took a chance. This inspired Ms. Barnes to pursue health care, too; she wanted to give back and help others through situations like hers. To help make her dreams a reality, she earned a diploma in nursing from Temple University in 1958, a Bachelor of Science in nursing education from Wilkes College in 1969, and a Master of Arts in counseling from Marywood College in 1981. She also became a certified legal nurse consultant through Kaplan College, a licensed professional

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Although Sheila Robertson Smith didn’t intend to pursue hematology, she is thrilled with how her career ended up. She started her journey as a physical education major at the University of Miami, but found she didn’t enjoy the work. While she was trying to figure things out, she decided to travel to North Carolina to visit a friend. The two of them went to an employment office to help her see what other options were available, and a position in a hematology lab at Duke University Medical Center caught her attention. Ms. Smith ended up getting the job, and the rest is history. She remained there for six years before advancing to become a hematology technician at North Arundel Hospital

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Phyllis Adams


Inspired by the nurses who cared for her after a childhood medical procedure, Phyllis Adams has dedicated her life to the field. She told her parents she wanted to be a nurse right after the surgery, and they were completely supportive. From that moment on, her path was clear. Dr. Adams never wavered from the pursuit of her goal and, in 1969, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Dillard University and a Doctorate of Higher Education from Texas Southern University. She got her first professional position, charge nurse at The Methodist Hospital, that same year. Ever since then, Dr. Adams has steadily grown within the industry. She moved through roles like faculty coordinator at the Columbus Technical

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Although Ellen  Dorinda Shelley had long wanted to pursue health care, she didn’t decide on dermatology until college. Her professor, Philip C. Anderson, encouraged her to build her career in the field, and she took his advice. Dr. Shelley’s first professional position was assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University, followed by assistant professor of dermatology, associate professor, and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also served the latter school as the chairman of the College of Medicine at Peoria. In 1983, Dr. Shelly transferred to the University of Toledo, where she remains to this day. She started at the institution as a professor and the chief of dermatology, and became a clinical professor of dermatology in

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Joy Holland lives by the mantra, “don’t make excuses, and don’t be a victim.” She doesn’t believe in letting problems hold her back; perseverance was her strength, and she did what she had to in order to succeed. Ms. Holland initially started college as a math major, but quickly found nursing to be more appealing. With a growing family, she wanted a career she could launch quickly. She was also drawn by the prospect of spending her time helping individuals get better. Ms. Holland proceeded to earn an Associate of Arts in nursing from Olive-Harvey College in 1972. She obtained her first position, staff nurse at the University of Chicago Hospital and Clinics, that same year, and the rest is

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A good, honest nurse who always put her patients first, Linda Hege is thrilled to have lived out her childhood dream. She had wanted to become a nurse since she was 3 or 4 years old; she was passionate about helping others and felt the field would be a good fit. Ms. Hege never lost sight of her goal, and in 1967, she triumphantly graduated from Lenoir Rhyne College with a Bachelor of Science in nursing and set off to make her mark. The first stop on Ms. Hege’s professional journey was Forsyth Memorial Hospital, which she joined as a staff nurse in 1967. As her reputation for excellence grew, so did her responsibilities within the institution. In the decades

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As a child, Judith Eileen Hicks really looked up to her aunt, a nurse. She wanted to follow in her footsteps, so she obtained a Bachelor of Science in nursing from St. Xavier University in 1969 and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Illinois in 1971. She then set out to make her own mark on the field. Ms. Hicks proceeded to join Mercy Hospital as a staff nurse, and the rest is history. She was promoted to nursing supervisor after a year in her original role and only continued growing from there. Her next positions included continuing education consultant at the Illinois Nurses Association, director of obstetrics-gynecology nursing at Prentice Women’s Hospital and Northwestern Memorial

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Inspired by people’s ability to change and learn, Nena M. Nera has dedicated herself to health care and psychology. She is currently the president and chief executive officer of The “N” Company, through which she offers both one-on-one and group mentoring for healthcare practitioners and other professionals, workshop presentations, education, and public speaking. Ms. Nera founded the health policy consultancy in 2000 with the goal of expanding her reach, and she is thrilled with her ongoing success. She recently conducted a series on communication and spoke on leadership. One of Ms. Nera’s positions prior to this was senior health policy analyst for Health Canada. The job gave her an opportunity she now considers a professional highlight: working with HIV/AIDS patients

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Encouraged by her mother to chose either nursing or teaching, Naomi Kate Sheppard decided the former offered her the best opportunity for growth and success. She started out by earning a diploma from the Scott & White Hospital School of Nursing in 1955, after which she furthered her education with an Associate of Arts from Temple Junior College, a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and biology from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin. She also obtained certification in psychiatric nursing from the American Nursing Association. Degrees in hand, Ms. Sheppard set out to make her mark on the field. Her first professional position was staff nurse at

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When Anne C. Perry was very young, a medical condition forced her to have an extended stay at the hospital. She felt so cared for by the nurses and had such a good experience that she began to consider pursuing a career in medicine, too. Ms. Perry worked hard to achieve her goal, and was thrilled when she obtained her first position, staff registered nurse in obstetrics at Moses Ludington Hospital, in 1970. Her experience there proved she was meant to be part of the health care industry; she loved helping others and connecting with her community. The next stop on Ms. Perry’s journey was nurse and social worker at the Essex County Head Start Program, followed by prepared childbirth

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