This year, Memorial is celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting members of our team who embody our mission of healing, inspiring, and transforming the health of our community.
Gary has been part of the Memorial team for 23 years, working as an ICU and Med-Surg nurse and a Family Nurse Practitioner.
She was nominated by another team member who shared, “She is a very thorough Nurse Practitioner, she shines with compassion for her patients. Here at the walk-in facility, a lot of the patients do not have a PCP (Primary Care Provider). She makes sure to treat them by sending a referral to establish care with one of our Physicians. Patients really love her a lot for taking the time to go that extra mile for them. As a Multi Skilled Technician, at times, I have a new hire trainee (MST, RN) with me. Ms. Porter takes time to show them steps and answer any questions that they may have. She is a very caring, kind, thoughtful, and overall understanding individual. We have worked together for 8 years and I have definitely grown a close bond with her. I really enjoy talking to her, I feel like I learn something new every day. She has been the same from day one since I met her which is absolutely awesome.”
Rewarding to provide patient-centered care
Gary is a Family Nurse Practitioner and also works in partnership the University of Southern Mississippi as an embedded clinical instructor. She says, “As a Nurse Practitioner, my responsibilities include evaluating patients and implementing competent care to patients in an acute setting. As an embedded clinical instructor, I assist with the clinical learning experience of nursing students in the hospital setting.”
When asked what she loves most about her work, Gary says, “Some of the requirements of nursing include compassion, patience, empathy, competency, confidence, critical thinking, caring, and flexibility. It is rewarding to provide patient centered care to improve quality of life and health.” She continues, “I enjoy providing education to facilitate student’s learning process as they establish their knowledge base, assessment and critical thinking skills.”
Diversity in nursing profession
“Black History Month is a significant milestone as we honor, celebrate and embrace the accomplishments, sacrifices, contributions and legacy of Black history and Black culture,” adds Gary.
“Mary Eliza Mahoney is an inspirational nursing pioneer. She was the first African American to graduate from a nursing program and earn her licensure. Despite the challenges, she continued her activism for increased access to nursing education, women’s rights and racial equality. She broke barriers which provided a foundation for future black nurses. Her dedication and perseverance have provided advancement of equal opportunity and diversity in the nursing profession,” shares Gary.
Gary will be celebrating Black History Month with her family with gratitude and by honoring, reflecting, being involved in and embracing Black history throughout the year. She adds, “The month of February has been the designated month of recognition for Black history, however I recognize and celebrate throughout the year.”
Thank you for sharing your story, Gary, and thank you for all that you do for our patients and community!