National Nurses Week is celebrated every year from May 6 to 12 to recognize the profound contributions nurses make to the community. This week, Blue KC is celebrating its own nurses, including those who work in the Blue KC headquarters building and those who practice at our Spira Care Centers in Shawnee and Olathe.
Empowered to Help
Ashley Andre, a Licensed Practical Nurse at Spira Care Olathe who has worked in healthcare for more than 10 years, was inspired by her family to pivot to a career in nursing eight years ago.
“I’ve always been around the medical field growing up—my mom worked in various positions for a major hospital in the area,” Andre said. “My grandfather died of heart problems when I was 17, and the nurses were amazing; they definitely made an impact.”
According to Andre, who grew up in Shawnee, the true turning point in her career was when she helplessly witnessed a coworker pass out.
“I hated the feeling of watching others jump into action to help her,” she said. “After that, I knew I wanted to be a nurse.”
Andre says the innovation and mission behind Spira Care inspired her to join the Olathe team, and that her favorite part of her role is being empowered to interact with members on a personal level.
“Sometimes they just need an ear to really listen to them, and [someone] to educate them on their disease process or how to improve their health.”
A 29-Year Nursing Career
Debi Jackson, a Clinical Review Nurse at Blue KC, has been in nursing for nearly three decades.
She has cared for babies in a neonatal intensive care unit as well as patients undergoing home infusion therapy.
Debi started working at Blue KC six years ago, when she was responsible for making hospital discharge follow up calls to members. She now reviews inpatient admissions and determines the appropriateness of hospital stays. Debi is part of the Blue KC nursing staff that handles work including concurrent review, case and care management and prior authorization.
From Loss Comes Care
Laura Adam, a Registered Nurse at Spira Care Shawnee, was compelled to become a nurse after she lost her husband to a tragic accident.
“I wanted to be able to support and care for others the way I was through my toughest times,” Adam said. “Nursing made sense, and not a day goes by that I don’t love what I am doing.”
Adam joined Spira Care after a five-year hospital career, emphasizing the flexibility and personalization Spira Care lends to its patients.
“After seeing the effects of the rising costs of healthcare and the impact it is having on true patient centered care, I wanted to find something that would allow me to give my patients the type of care they deserve,” Adam said. “Spira Care made so much sense.”
“When members come to Spira Care, they finally have a home base for all of their healthcare needs with a compassionate, knowledgeable, and motivated team to help them navigate their healthcare and take all the confusion away.”