A love affair with healing, beginning as a teenage candy striper, led this nurse to a decades-long health-care position in the corporate world — and, eventually, a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives.
Growing up near Fort Bragg instilled in one young nurse a sense of duty to community and country. She’d go on to reach the rank of lieutenant general, eventually assuming command as Army Surgeon General — the first woman ever to do so.
In the late-1980s, a Boone nurse opened the doors of her western North Carolina home to AIDS patients and HIV-positive men, giving them space to cry, shoulders to lean on, and fellowship with other sufferers at a time when fear kept some people from even lending a hand.
Growing up in the close-knit Lumbee community, an educator in Robeson County walked the same farmland as her ancestors. Today, she gives back to that land by nurturing nursing students from across rural North Carolina.
Nursing has a long history in our state, yet the stories of the women and men who care for us too often go untold. The past year has renewed our appreciation for these health-care heroes, so this month, we’re shining a spotlight on their work — and saying thank you.