Skilled in pediatric nursing case management, specifically the areas of complex discharge planning and community resources, Debra K. Meneely, BHSE, RN, CPN, has provided opportunities to support, educate and care for large number of children and adults from all socioeconomic levels and in multiple arenas. She served as a staff nurse III, coordinator of the pediatric mock code program, and womens and children’s services case manager at Wishard Memorial Hospital, now Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, in Indianapolis, as well as a pediatric clinical manager for Interim Health Care. She was also a pediatric case manager for the Community Health Network, a financial coordinator for the Clarion/IU Health Solid Organ Transplant Center, LPN instructor for J. Everett Light Career Center. Ms. Meneely currently serves as the pediatric complex case manager for MDwise Inc.
Prior to the start of her illustrious career, Ms. Meneely pursued a formal education at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB), earning a Bachelor of Science in health care engineering in 2005, and became a certified pediatric nurse. Before attaining this academic honor, she graduated from Copley Memorial Hospital, now Rush Copley Medical Center, in Aurora, Illinois, in 1975. Since graduating, Ms. Meneely attributes her success to her ability to share knowledge and educate in a non-threatening environment. As a parent with personal experience with children born with medical differences, it allows for greater empathy for others.
The president of the Face to Face Craniofacial Support Group and active with Camp About Face, Ms. Meneely has maintained involvement with numerous organizations in her field including the Case Management Society of America and the Central Indiana Case Management Society of America. In recognition of her efforts, she received the Ritter-Severns Legacy Award by Camp About Face, which was established in 2010 by Camp About Face in honor of camp co-founders Carol Ritter and Trish Severns. Additionally, she was recognized by the School of Obsetrics and Gynecology at IUB and was selected for inclusion in the fourth and fifth editions of Who’s Who in American Nursing.
Wilma Nightingale, a former nurse, has served as a mentor to Ms. Meneely. She has not only served as a mentor, but the two have become good friends. What Ms. Meneely has learned over the course of her career that has most benefited her in her professional growth is that she had a really good mentor who helped her be able to look at every situation from more than one aspect. It is a tool that she has been able to use personally and professionally; step back and take a look at every situation because there is always more than one view. What you are seeing in behaviors may not be for the reason that you think if you don’t step back and take a look at all the factors that are involved.
Ms. Meneely would like to be remembered with every person and every case that she worked with as someone who empowered them to be advocates for themselves as the parent and the child because she has given them all the tools that they need. What motivates her in pediatrics is helping others, and it keeps her calm. She enjoys the kids, whom often seem to handle situations better than adults do. The advice that Ms. Meneely can offer others aspiring to work in her profession is that you get out of your career what you’re willing to put into it. As long as you are willing to be open-minded, flexible and willing to get new learning experiences as you go so that you can grow as you learn, you will be well-rounded.