NEW YORK NURSE: May 2013
Hard work, an impressive GPA, and an award-winning essay question had Metropolitan Hospital Center RN Lauretta Odume packing her bags to accept an inside invitation to the 57th Presidential Inauguration in January, and the experience of a lifetime. Lauretta is a Nigerian-born, Bronx-based pediatrics nurse, and a member of the scholastic Golden Key International Honor Society. She earned her nursing diploma in Nigeria and is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree at Lehman College — CUNY. A school-based essay contest in which she posed a question on the importance of faith in politics earned her an enviable spot at the Collegiate Presidential Inaugural Conference. The five-day gathering for student leaders was planned around the swearing-in, and filled with opportunities to explore the presidency, interact with political experts, meet and debate with leaders on either side of the political aisle and to network and share in the historic celebration with fellow American and international scholars. In between touring the capital’s major landmarks, and witnessing the inauguration first hand, Lauretta and her group engaged in lively discussion with guest panelists James Carville—an outspoken Liberal and Democratic strategist, and his wife, Republican consultant and conservative pundit, Mary Matalin. The “crowning moment” for Lauretta came when Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. delivered a keynote address on the unleashed potential of people from all walks of life joining forces and working together, in spite of a spectrum of differences. In describing how society can only move forward meaningfully by listening to each other’s points of view, she recalls Rev. Jackson’s words, “We cannot be disconnected by languages, but we must be connected by message.” Lauretta plans to remain politically active and vocal between now and the next election by encouraging others to vote for individuals that share her passion for protecting the most vulnerable members of our society, and in demanding policy-making that reflects their promises. James Carville’s words in particular, left a lasting impression, “He said, ‘allow passion and interest to be my guide in anything I do and to be around people that have interest in the world and are willing to be challenged’.” It’s becoming clear to those around her, that as she strives for academic and career excellence, Lauretta Odume, RN, is one of those people.
With no uncertain sadness, the colleagues of Gloria Qualles, a head nurse supervisor and a 37-year veteran of Queens Hospital Center bid farewell to their friend recently, as she embarked upon her retirement. Gloria’s long career with QHC spans an entire spectrum of specialties. At the outset, Gloria worked in the ER, moving into ICU, Dialysis, Med-Surg, Rehabilitation and Case Management. For just as long, she constantly made time to be instrumental in NYSNA’s mission, serving the Association and her colleagues loyally and in many capacities — on NYSNA’s Nomination Committee, the HHC/Mayoral Benefits Fund Board of Trustees, as Chair of QHC’s Executive Committee from 1987-1997, Vice-Chair from 1998-2013, and on NYSNA’s Delegate Assembly for more than ten years. Long-time QHC friend and colleague, nursing supervisor Lindella Artman said “Gloria was a very good and sweet head nurse. She was very well-liked by her peers, and represented QHC for a long time. She was incredibly well-skilled. And yes, she’s missed.” An outdoor, summertime celebration honoring Gloria’s long and distinguished career, service and friendship will take place on June 21, at Verdi’s of Westbury as friends and colleagues will gather to welcome her into a well-deserved retirement. Lindella would be happy to share information with those interested in making a reservation to attend.
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