Soul of…


You can learn a lot about each other in less than 250 words.

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Joy, Chief Nursing Officer

“Growing up, we lived on a block with lots of kids. Mostly boys. In fact, my two sisters and I were the only three girls. So we played things like baseball in the street and inevitably there was a daily injury. I was the one taking care of the skinned knees, head bumps and bruises, and I decided when things were ok and when we needed to go tell our parents. But I had an issue. From the time I was little—up through college—when I saw blood I fainted. So I would take care of the skinned knee, then I would fall over and faint. 

 When it came time to make a decision about college, I knew I wanted to be a nurse, but my mom said, ‘Oh, Joy, there’s a lot of blood in nursing, and I don’t know that you’re ever going to get over that.’ So I followed her advice and decided to be a special education teacher. Half way through my freshman year, I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do. So I transferred and went to nursing school. I fainted twice in nursing school, but then I got through my rotations and never fainted again!

Nursing has always been in me. I can’t turn it off. I always wanted to be a nurse and I have never regretted that decision.”

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Esmeralda, Rn

I moved to the United States from Zacatecas, Mexico when I was 17. My family worked in the fields to harvest crops near Grand Forks, North Dakota where there are lots of potato farms. In 2000, I moved to Long Prairie with my family and I have been here since. When I first came here, I worked as an interpreter, helping Hispanic women with translations during their health care appointments. By helping translate for others, I found I was interested in health care and the medical field, so I went to school and received my nursing license in 2007.

 I love working here as a nurse – it gives me energy. I like the environment, my coworkers and my patients. We get to help people and it’s not like anything else. One day you might help bring a baby into the world, and another day you’re helping a patient who is at the end of their life. And we need to be able to connect with our patients in both of those situations. I try to identify what the patient or family needs and if I’m unsure, I ask them: “How can I help you? What can I do to make this better?” I always try to put myself in their shoes and think, if it was me, how would I want this handled?

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Travis, Maintenance Manager

"My priorities are God, family, then work. As a kid, my family relied on me to help them. My mom was sick a lot and my dad was an alcoholic, so I had to grow up pretty fast. I was a leather-wearing kid with a mullet that didn’t know his purpose at that point. My family was dysfunctional, but they loved me. My dad became sober and our relationship grew. He passed away five years ago and now I care for my mom who lives with me, my wife and our five kids. One of my goals was if I ever had a family, it was not going to be dysfunctional because I didn’t want to put them through that. So I’ve always strived to be the best for my family because I wanted to break that cycle.

 At work, I want to make people better and be a light for others. I always say, show ‘em your heart before you ask for their hand. I want people to trust me because I trust them. I want my team to feel like they have a purpose and are making a difference. Not just in the people around them, but in their own family too. I love going to work. It brings me life. And if I can help the people around me be their best, then I’m serving my purpose."