February 27, 2021
Jackie here, the founder, creator, and artist behind Riot Healers.
I am excited to kick off our feature section of the blog highlighting healthcare workers and students. I hope you find value reading the unique stories and perspectives here! Let's jump in.
Originally from the near-west side of Chicago, I have dedicated my life and career as a nurse serving my community. Currently, I work as a practicing faculty member at the UIC College of Nursing, where I am also completing my Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic I have also worked as a public health nurse.
When I was seven years old, my baby sister Julia joined the family, but unexpectedly was unable to come home from the hospital. Julia was born with a heart complication known as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), an unclosed hole in the aorta that is supposed to simultaneously close at birth. In other words, she was born with a hole in her heart. After a few weeks, Julia’s heart healed and she was finally able to come home without any further surgeries or medications. My parents said the doctors and nurses saved her life.
From that moment on, I knew I wanted to spend my life doing exactly that for other people and their families.
Why nursing? Unlike other paths in healthcare, nursing is equally an art and a science. It gives you a deep understanding of the body and disease, but more importantly the human condition. There are few career choices as selfless, honorable, and rewarding as becoming a nurse. I will always be grateful for a set of skills that can truly help others, and the endless opportunities to affect individuals, communities and the world.
My husband and I are proud dog parents to Moose and Gary the “Greatest” Danes you’ll ever meet. I am a proud feminist and have the soul of a wood-stock going flower child. I love my garden, cozy coffee shops, cooking at home and creating art whenever and wherever I can.
Recently I was named an Albert Schweitzer Fellow where I will design, implement and evaluate a community-based health prevention project focused on serving IGrow's population! If you are interested in learning more, check out this video to see how they have adapting to meeting the community's needs during the pandemic.
For advocates inside the hospital and out.
Riot Healers celebrates the strength and voices of healthcare professionals, healthcare students and all healers changing the world.
Sign up for the latest & greatest here