Congratulations to Shannon Frey, MS, APRN, FNP-C, who has been selected to participate on the NC Institute of Medicine Future of Nursing Workforce task force as well as a work group dedicated to defining Nursing’s Role in Healthcare Equity, which is also part of the NC Institute of Medicine.
Family nurse practitioner Allison Jones is one of NeighborHealth’s newest medical team members who joined our team last summer. In honor of Women’s History Month, we talked with Allison about her journey to pursuing a career in medicine, who inspires her, and what led her to NeighborHealth.
Born and raised in the Dallas, TX area, Allison was in high school when she felt her calling to pursue a career in nursing. As a student who excelled in science, Allison knew a career in the field made sense, but she also wanted to work with people rather than spend her days working in a lab. Nursing offered the perfect combination of science and service, and following high school graduation, she pursued her nursing degree at Cedarville University in Ohio. During these transformative years, Allison also began embarking on mission trips to other countries to offer service and learn from other medical providers.
By the summer of 2008, Allison was headed to Asia for six weeks to put her clinical practice to work. She and NeighborHealth Chief Medical Officer Dr. Doug Briggs (who attended the same church in Texas) worked together providing care to residents – delivering care both at the clinic and in people’s homes. For some patients in very rural areas, delivering care meant hiking for up to six hours. There, she witnessed firsthand the dire healthcare needs in rural areas of Asia and recalls feeling that God was calling her to be the hands and feet of Christ by loving and caring for patients. By this point, Allison knew this was what she wanted to do with her life – and she had fallen in love with caring for patients from a wide range of cultures and nationalities.
“During that trip, I learned how medicine can break down cultural and societal walls very quickly,” Allison relates. “You get to know patients intimately, and it’s a privilege to hear and be part of their stories – and to help them throughout whatever they’re going through, whether it’s related to medical care or something else. I saw the struggles that so many of these patients have been through, and it was a gift to walk alongside them and show God’s love while providing the quality care they needed.”
As her mentor, Dr. Briggs encouraged Allison to pursue an advanced degree and become a nurse practitioner – which would offer her more opportunities to follow her dreams. In 2012, she graduated from Baylor University as a family nurse practitioner. Over the next ten years, Allison practiced medicine in various settings in Texas to hone her clinical skills – waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.
Last summer, God answered the call when a new position opened at NeighborHealth. When Allison learned that NeighborHealth provided care to patients from more than 80 countries, she knew the time was right to move across the country and join the team.
As a family nurse practitioner, Allison cares for adults and children of all ages – from the newborn stage through the geriatric years. “It’s been so incredible to interact with so many patients from all over the world and to provide culturally sensitive care in a place that focuses on serving the underserved. Supporting our patients holistically by providing medical, physical, emotional, and spiritual care and guidance is a gift. While half of my patients don’t speak English, a smile is the same in every language – I love sharing God’s love through medicine and reminding every patient I see that they are loved and cared for as a person.”
In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked Allison to share her thoughts on being a woman in healthcare. “In many cases, the desire to help people and care for others is an innate trait that many women share,” explains Allison. “Being able to incorporate this into my profession is important to me. Also, that ability to connect with and relate to my patients as a woman means a lot to me – particularly when caring for patients who come from a culture where they might not be comfortable seeing a male provider.”
As it relates to women in history, Allison recalls one who inspired her chosen career path. “In high school, I read a book about Amy Carmichael, a missionary in India. I was inspired by how she deeply loved this nation, especially the children. Her desire to meet both the physical and spiritual needs taught me the importance of caring for the whole person, and the beauty of relationships that cross cultures and nationalities.”
In conclusion, it’s clear to see why Allison is such an excellent fit for our talented NeighborHealth team. Please join us in honoring Women’s History Month and welcoming Allison to our family.
NeighborHealth is nearing the $500,000 goal of our Growing for Good campaign, and with your help, we will make it! Please consider making a generous gift today to support our work to provide quality healthcare to our most vulnerable neighbors regardless of their ability to pay. We are grateful to each and everyone who has already given. Thank you!
Thank you for your continued partnership.
Chief Executive Officer
Serving Christ by loving our neighbors through excellent, compassionate, and accessible health care.