Two Texas Children’s Health Plan nurses recently received the distinguished honor of being nominated among the top 150 nurses in the region by the Houston Chronicle.
Rose Calhoun, director of quality & outcomes and a nurse for 40 years, is an agent for change. “My first publication was accepted by the American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing before I received my degree from Texas Women’s University in 1976,” said Calhoun. “I published this article because of the number of infant deaths from receiving inappropriate formula.”
Since then, her contributions to the population health field, featured in a number of prestigious publications, including the Journal of Managed Care Nursing, and The Journal of School Health, have continued to positively influence the lives of thousands of patients and health care practitioners. “Every step that I moved up in nursing was a step away from the bedside but I was impacting more people,” said Calhoun. “It’s a different way of taking care of people but it has more impact.”
For Calhoun, who has won a number of awards throughout her career, this nomination means that “The nurses’ community recognizes the value of nurses participating in population health. I’ve always been a change agent and very committed to the welfare of the children.”
A Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Calhoun employs her leadership and vast expertise to address population health issues at Texas Children’s Health Plan. “I’ve put in decades as a nurse, bedside nurse, supervisor, director of nurses, administrator, you name it, I’ve done it,” she said. She also teaches quality and population health to nurses earning their doctorate at The University of Texas Health Science Center. “I still work, I don’t want to retire, I’m having too much fun.”
Chastity Jaime, pediatric care coordinator, has earned the same Chronicle recognition.
“It’s good to hear this news; as nurses we don’t always get compliments,” said Jaime. You do your work, you make sure the patients have what they need but it’s the thanks that you get later on that are meaningful.
An empathetic caregiver, Jaime was inspired to become a nurse after having surgery when she was just a teenager. She was left alone in a hallway in extreme pain. “I was crying and I just wanted my mom. People were just passing by and they weren’t acknowledging me,” Jaime said. “I decided that I wanted to go into health care at that time because I thought no one should ever have to go through something like that.”
As a pediatric nurse at The Center for Children and Women, Jaime’s empathetic nature has won her patients’ families appreciation. “Mothers appreciate all the help and going above and beyond for them to make sure that they have exactly what their child needs,” she said. Just helping patients feel better is not enough for her: “For me, it’s about helping people to be more knowledgeable so that they’re empowered to take care of themselves.”
Working with 25 assigned patients, Jaime’s challenges extend beyond the scope of nursing, ranging from non-compliance to analphabetism. “We do tend to have more non-compliant patients when it comes to appointments,” she said. “Sometimes it’s not purposeful. It may be because they can’t read or write – so sometimes I will schedule the appointment for them.”
Going above and beyond to meet her patients’ needs fuels Jaime’s passion and commitment. “It makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing, that I’m doing the right job,” said Jaime.
For more information about Houston Chronicle’s Salute to Nurses, visit Chron’s website.