Believing You Can Fly

By Jackie Gaines
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This is the true story of a woman who turned her dream of helping people into a rewarding thirty-year career in health care.

Jacquelyn Gaines joined the workforce as a nurse. Her dedication and compassion made her a favorite among her patients, but her superiors weren't always so impressed. As a black woman, she faced their prejudices and proved her worth.

Eventually deciding to take her career to another level, her professional and personal life were forever changed when she started working for Health Care for the Homeless, Inc., in Baltimore, Maryland. Again her empathy, paired with hard work, made her interactions with her patients fruitful and fulfilling.

"I have never worked anywhere before or since that gave me such a sense of purpose," she writes. "I knew daily that I made a difference in the lives of the vulnerable people in the community where I was born and raised."

She later took on the position of Vice President of Community Health Systems Integration for Bon Secours Baltimore Health System and worked with the Surgeon General. Then, at the top of her career, she became the first black female to run a hospital in Oregon and later served as the Regional President and CEO for Mercy Health Partners in Northeast Pennsylvania.

Gaines now shares her experiences to motivate and inspire those with similar aspirations.

About the Author

Jacquelyn Gaines received her B.S.N. from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and went on to earn her M.S. from the University of Maryland with a major in primary health care/health care administration. Now the immediate past President and CEO of Mercy Health Partners in Northeast Pennsylvania, she and her husband reside in Clarks Summit, PA, where she enjoys spending her free time gardening, walking, and listening to quiet jazz.

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Published: 2008
Page Count: 114