Dedicated nursing professor recognized for providing healthcare education to global communities
While on a medical mission trip to Honduras, Lisa Quinones witnessed local village women severing umbilical cords with their teeth while delivering others’ babies and then covering the newborns with their own clothes. When Quinones, a professor of nursing at Suffolk County Community College (SCCC), returned home to Selden, NY, she challenged her students and colleagues to help fund and create 165 “birthing kits” containing basic supplies needed for sanitary childbirth. Quinones delivered the kits on a return trip to Honduras – one of six medical missions she helped lead in 2010.
In recognition of her extraordinary global and local efforts to educate students and health advocates and underserved populations in Latin America, Quinones is one of just seven recipients nationwide being honored with a 2011 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award.
“I would like my legacy to be that of a humanitarian. I share my immortality when I teach my students. I want to bring a message that we are a whole world–we are in each others hands, as nurses we take an oath to care across all cultures and circumstances without prejudice.”
“Lisa was nominated for this award for her extraordinary ability and passionate commitment to mentor and teach not only future nurses but also health-promotion advocates in Latin America whose knowledge and communication directly impact the health of impoverished, rural communities. No audience is too prestigious or too humble for her to share her knowledge, expertise and perspective with – whether a UN conference, officials from the Vatican, or those who help women in Latin America deliver their babies,” says Wendell Mobley who directs Cherokee Uniforms’ charitable and scholarship programs. “Lisa embodies the spirit of the Inspired Comfort Award.”
An advanced nurse practitioner, Quinones spends vacations crossing borders and traveling the world to help others. As a volunteer brigade member for the nonprofit Hope for a Healthier Humanity (HHH), she has led medical missions to areas of Honduras, Panama and the Dominican Republic that require special and sustained efforts just to maintain life. She creates curriculum in order to effectively equip health-promotion advocates called promotores with such life-sustaining skills as first aid, how to deliver babies and manage minor health issues. Quinones has taken eight of her nursing students with her on the trips which require 14-hour days and other hardships.
“Lisa teaches by doing,” explains Frances LaFauci, Associate Dean of Nursing at SCCC and Quinones’ nominator. “The four walls of a classroom could never contain the endless compassion and the knowledge she has to offer to this world, and that’s proven by the work we do and the lives we touch under her leadership.”
In 2010, Quinones presented her research to the United Nations World Youth Alliance and addressed a contingent from the Vatican in Honduras.
The Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award is granted by Cherokee Uniforms as a way to nationally recognize the unique skills, characteristics and work of nurses and other non-physician healthcare professionals who provide exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation while positively impacting others’ lives. This is the ninth year the leading designer and manufacturer of healthcare apparel has honored inspirational caregivers.
As the Grand Prize Winner, Quinones will receive an all-expense-paid Caribbean cruise for two courtesy of Cherokee Uniforms; a wardrobe featuring the best of Cherokee Uniforms and Footwear worth more than $1,000; a Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award trophy; a 14K gold-plated commemorative pin; a year’s subscription to Scrubs, the nation’s first lifestyle magazine for nurses; and a $500 donation in her name to the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation.
Ultimately, Quinones is motivated by her belief that healthcare must be accessible to all humans across the globe. “If I could change one thing about the world, it would be that healthcare is a human right, not a luxury,” says Quinones. “Famines continue all over the world, mothers and babies die every day due to lack of accessible care, and health education is available only to those who are aware of the resources available. There is a great nursing shortage here and abroad, but as nurses we must never forget our oath to care across all cultures and circumstances without prejudice.”
Since the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award was established in 2003, almost 9,900 healthcare professionals have been nominated across the various nursing and non-physician disciplines. A panel of Cherokee representatives and past Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award recipients evaluates nominations and grants the awards.