Genesee Nursing Students, Scholarship and Alumni Illustrate the Significance of National Nurse's Week

Dorine Hawes, the 2006 recipient of the Jayne Miner Memorial Nursing Scholarship, had to overcome many obstacles this year to continue her nursing studies at Genesee Community College. Facing numerous medical concerns, Hawes nearly decided to give up on her dream of becoming a nurse. Now, through her instructors’ encouragement, she is on track to complete her studies in 2007. Those challenges made receiving the Jayne Miner Memorial Nursing Scholarship an honor indeed.

“Words cannot express the appreciation that I have for all the donors to this scholarship,” Hawes said. “What may seem like a small act of kindness to them has meant the world to me. Receiving this scholarship has enabled me to complete my dream and keep a promise.”

That promise was one made to Hawes’ grandmother, who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in the summer of 2002. While she was ill, Hawes’ grandmother made her promise that the stay-at-home mother would attend school and follow her dreams. Inspired by her grandmother, Hawes enrolled in the nursing program at Genesee Community College, choosing this career path so that she could help others struggling with medical issues.

It was at Genesee Community College that she met another woman who shared her passion for helping others – Jayne Ann Miner. The two met during their clinicals at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. “She had a good head on her shoulders, and put her patients first,” Hawes said of Miner. “She was a sweet, passionate person who loved what she was doing. I don’t remember her ever coming to class in a bad mood. She would have made a fantastic nurse.”

However, Jayne Miner’s goal of helping others through nursing was not to be fulfilled. She was tragically killed in a car accident in December 2005 with just a year and a half left to complete her RN degree. Miner’s motivation for a nursing career, like Hawes’, was a personal illness. Jayne had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 16 and hoped to become a diabetes counselor so she could help others better understand and cope with the disease.

Miner graduated from Honeoye Falls-Lima High School in 1987, then completed a degree in education from SUNY Geneseo. Like many others diagnosed with diabetes, it was not easy for Jayne to accept the life-changing eating and living habits of her condition. While a counselor at Rochester Rotary Sunshine Camp, she realized that she needed to find answers to her questions about how to control her sugar levels and maintain a normal lifestyle. This need for understanding, and her wish to share what she learned with others afflicted with diabetes, led her to enroll in the nursing program at Genesee Community College.

Jayne refused to let her disease stop her from enjoying life. She took parachuting lessons and made a successful jump after passing her test. Jayne also enjoyed white water rafting and had one memorable trip on the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park, where she was flipped overboard and could be heard giggling as she held her paddle and floated feet first down the river before she was cornered and pulled back on board.

Throughout her life, Jayne’s passion for helping others governed her actions. She was active in the American Red Cross and spent two years working as a patient-care technician at Strong Memorial Hospital while she was completing her nursing degree. “She was dedicated to providing excellent patient care and touched the hearts of her fellow staff members through her exceptional caring and kindness,” hospital officials said in a prepared statement following her death. “She will be deeply missed.”

Dorine Hawes echoed that sentiment when accepting the scholarship named in Jayne’s honor. “I had the opportunity to work with her during our first semester clinical experience, and talk with her about what she wanted to do with her degree. Her response was simple – help others.” The similarity in these two women’s character and background made Hawes a logical choice as the first recipient of the Jayne Miner Memorial Nursing Scholarship.

Hawes, a 1993 graduate of Akron High School, has accepted a position at United Memorial Medical Center’s pediatric department after graduation from Genesee Community College. She chose pediatrics because of her experience with the birth of her two children, Justin, age 14, and Jared, age 7. “This experience has influenced my everyday outlook on life and has guided me in a positive direction,” she said.

Dorine’s husband, Keith, is a 1994 graduate of Genesee Community College’s nursing program. He now works for the Catholic Health System. Dorine’s aunt, Barb Peters, is also a nurse and attended Genesee Community College’s nursing program.

With the encouragement and support of her friends and family, Dorine plans to make a big difference in the lives of others as she pursues her nursing career. “Receiving the scholarship was a great honor for me, not only because I knew Jayne, but also because my instructors recognized that I kept trying even when it felt like the odds were stacked against me,” she said. Helping others despite personal difficulties is the connection that Jayne Miner and Dorine Hawes share.

“Having Dorine successfully complete the nursing program gives me a sense of pride and has been a big part of the healing process for me following Jayne’s death,” said Jaren Miner, Jayne’s mother.

For more information or to apply for a scholarship at Genesee, contact Kathy Hankel, Director of Nursing, at (585) 343-0055 x6367 or visit www.genesee.edu/scholarships.

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Editor’s Note: National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. The purpose of National Nurses Week is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of the American people.

A photograph of Dorine Hawes is available at:
http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/d_hawes.jpg
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