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Fort Worth Registered Nurse Rhonda Collins of Fresenius Kabi USA to Present The American Nurse Project, and Introduce the Texas Health Dallas Nurse Project Inspired by The American Nurse Project.

The American Nurse Project is presented by Fresenius Kabi USA. Fort Worth Nurse Rhonda Collins, VP at Fresenius Kabi is the nurse who inspired this amazing project and helped to celebrate Debra, Jane & Manny’s accomplishments today.

Nurse Debra Dubois (Photo Credit: Carolyn Jones for The American Nurse Project)

The American Nurse Project, a not-for-profit initiative capturing the personal stories of American nurses through photography and film, will honor three Texas nurses at the Texas Organization of Nurse Executives (TONE) Annual Conference at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.  Inspired by The American Nurse Project, Texas Health Dallas will launch The Texas Health Dallas Nurse Project following The American Nurse Project presentation on Friday, March 1.

In front of an audience of nurses and peers, Rhonda Collins – MSN, RN, Vice President for Fresenius Kabi USA, Sponsor of The American Nurse Project and Fort Worth Native – will unveil stunning black and white photos of RNs Debra DuBois of Dallas, Jane Champion of Uvalde and Manny Munoz of El Paso, celebrating their compassion, courage and dedication to nursing.

“The work of these three amazing Texas nurses is both brave and fascinating,” said Collins.  “Their dedication to their profession and devotion to their communities is inspirational.  The American Nurse Project celebrates them as everyday heroes and Texas treasures, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share their stories.”

Nurse Manny Munoz (Photo Credit Carolyn Jones for The American Nurse Project)

The American Nurse Project is the vision of renowned photographer Carolyn Jones, who journeyed across the country to capture the unique and heroic experiences of nurses at work.  The photographs and stories were recorded in the book The American Nurse released in the fall of 2012, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting a scholarship fund designed to support the education of nursing students throughout the country and continue to further the mission and vision of The American Nurse.

Following the success of the book, The American Nurse Project expanded its scope into additional states, including Texas. In doing so, the project continues to illuminate the selfless and rewarding world of caregiving by honoring new nurses, including DuBois, Champion and Munoz. The American Nurse Project is also producing a documentary that will share a more in-depth look at the stories of six diverse nurses from around the U.S. The film will be released later in 2013.

Following Collins’ presentation, she will introduce the Texas Health Dallas Nurse Project, a new initiative inspired by The American Nurse Project to create a grassroots project honoring local nurses. TONE attendees will have the opportunity to interact with images and video of nurses, patients and poignant moments captured by Texas Health’s own nurses Lisa Dierschke-Stone and Thao Nguyen and envisioned by Texas Health Dallas’ chief nursing officer, Cole Edmonson, DNP, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC.

“The mission of The American Nurse Project has always been to elevate the work of nurses and give them a voice through photography and film,” said Jones. “We’re thrilled to have inspired the Texas Health Dallas Nurse Project.”

“We are delighted that our national initiative has given way to the first home-grown nurse project,” added Collins. “Having the first local project come from my home state of Texas makes this even more meaningful, and we hope to continue to encourage additional hospitals to honor nurses in this way.”

The nurses being honored at TONE’s Annual Conference exude extraordinary capabilities and passion for their profession. They include:

Debra DuBois, APRN, CNM (Dallas, TX):  DuBois is a nurse midwife at The Women’s Health Center at Texas Health Dallas, a facility that serves low income women during pregnancy and postpartum. When Burmese refugees became the primary recipients of the facility’s care, DuBois took charge of the medical and logistical needs of this population.  Her plan included coordinating various departments at the hospital to ensure consistent and thorough treatment; working through translators to communicate step-by-step instructions for their hospital stay and teaching them how to make healthy choices for themselves and their babies; in addition to overcoming cultural obstacles.  Her work expanded into a pediatric clinic that ensures the Burmese babies she helped deliver receive ongoing care.  After the success of the project, the processes she implemented were applied to different cultures served by the facility.

Jane Champion PhD, DNP, MSN, MA, FNP, AH-PMH-CNS, FAAN (Uvalde, TX): With seven graduate degrees under her belt, and having studied, researched and practiced at a variety of prestigious universities and medical facilities around Texas and beyond, Champion is currently on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. There, she focuses on women’s health issues through clinical research on STI/HIV, substance use, adolescent and women’s health, unintended pregnancy and interpersonal violence. She has in leadership roles on 33 research projects, and has been an investigator on 24 National Institute of Health funded research grants.  Additionally, Champion runs a women’s clinic in Uvalde, welcomes women into her home for counseling and is an Advanced Practice Nurse and Educator who lectures around the world.

Nurse Jane Champion (Photo Credit:Carolyn Jones for The American Nurse Project)

Manny Munoz (El Paso, TX):  Munoz is a cardiac rehabilitation nurse at the Del Sol LifeCare Center Cardiac Rehab Department.  Munoz excels at his job and brings enthusiasm and humility to work daily.  Serving a predominately Hispanic population, Munoz uses his knowledge to teach those in his community about diabetes, a pervasive disease among the local demographic.  While he has been a nurse for less than five years, Munoz has received the Nurse Excellence Award in Critical Care, Firestarter and Daisy Awards for his extraordinary dedication to helping his patients and everyone around him.

Following Collins’ presentation, TONE attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the Texas Health Dallas Nurse Project. The nurses and creative vision behind the project include:

Cole Edmonson, DNP, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC (Dallas, TX): The Chief Nursing Officer and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow at Texas Health Dallas, Edmonson was so inspired by The American Nurse Project that he led the charge in bringing the Texas Health Dallas Nurse Project to life. As a nurse leader he is supportive and passionate about the role of the bedside nurse and believes in clinician leadership from the bedside to the boardroom. As a leader, Edmonson is dedicated to creating an environment where projects like the Texas Health Dallas Nurse Project can flourish.

Lisa Dierschke-Stone, BSN, RN (Dallas, TX): An administrative supervisor at Texas Health Dallas, Dierschke-Stone is passionate about nursing and the image of nursing in the public. She wanted to create powerful, positive images of nurses who are most often behind the scenes and the unsung heroes of the health care system.

Thao Nguyen, RN, BSN, R.N.C – NIC, CCR.N (Dallas, TX): Thao is a dedicated NICU nurse at Texas Health Dallas. She has dedicated herself to the art and science of both nursing and photography. Through the Texas Health Dallas Nurse Project, Nguyen has combined her two passions to create powerfully positive images of nurses and their patients that reflect the criticality of the role of the professional nurse in changing and saving lives.

Fort Worth native Collins, whose company Fresenius Kabi USA sponsors of The American Nurse Project, will present the project and unveil photographs of the three Texas nurses in a session on Friday, March 1 at 1:15 p.m.  The launch of the Texas Health Dallas Nurse Project will follow.

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