We have partnered with the MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA COLLEGE OF NURSING to highlight some of the Lowcountry’s top nurses. HealthLinks Charleston wants to recognize nurses as the backbone of our medical community and thank them for all their efforts!
TERESA J. KELECHI
PH.D, RN, FAAN
MUSC COLLEGE OF NURSING
The transfer of medical nursing knowledge from research to patient is paramount for Teresa Kelechi, professor and David and Margaret Clare Endowed Chair at MUSC. With a bachelor of science in nursing from Kent State University, a master of science in nursing from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D in nursing from the University of South Carolina, Kelechi has established herself as an expert in the field.
“Having the ability to conduct research that helps patients manage symptoms associated with having skin ulcers is the inspiration to my profession,” she commented.
Currently, Kelechi is affiliated with clinical practices where patients with lower leg problems such as venous insufficiency or diabetes are seen. She talks to them about symptoms and self-management, even inviting them to become part of ongoing studies.
“My plans are to continue to conduct research for preventing and managing a variety of ulcers,” she said. “I also plan to continue teaching Ph.D nursing students about conducting research and mentoring junior nursing faculty.”
DNP, CPNP, CPN, CPEN
MUSC COLLEGE OF NURSING
Michaela Lewis understands how the well-being of children is important to our collective future and the crucial role of nursing in that goal. After earning an associates and a bachelor of science in nursing from Gardner-Webb University, Lewis completed her education with a doctor of nursing practice at MUSC, where she continues to teach full-time.
“As an instructor, I use knowledge gathered from research, current evidence-based guidelines and personal experience,” she said. “I serve as a mentor and resource for students as they enter the acute care setting and initiate interactions with pediatric patients and families.”
Lewis feels strongly about her role in teaching young nurses to care for children.
“I am a sieve through which caregivers of children may filter information and, with that information, make informed decisions,” she said. “Children, upon whom the future of our nation and world rest, deserve every advantage and opportunity.”
AMELIA (AMY) JOSEPH
SWAIN DEPARTMENT OF NURSING
A suggestion by her guidance counselor kindled Amelia Joseph’s career in nursing. After receiving her bachelor of science in nursing from Southern Connecticut State University, she finished her education in the Lowcountry, getting her masters in business administration from The Citadel and earning her Ph.D at the University of South Carolina. Since then, she has built an extensive career in nursing.
“I’ve worked in a variety of different clinical settings, mostly as a nurse manager, and finished my career here in Charleston as an associate nurse executive,” she said.
Throughout Joseph’s years as a nurse, she has made great efforts to care for patients individually and without judgment. “I believe that family, whatever that means to the patient, is an extension of the patient,” she explained. “I believe that you never treat a patient in a vacuum, but, rather, you treat the patient as well as his or her family.”
Joseph is currently the department head for the Swain Department of Nursing at The Citadel.
AMEDISYS HOME HEALTH
While working for a company that manufactured hospital beds, Jill Deaton was inspired by studying how these beds prevented injury. She then decided to go back to school, attending Trident Technical College to earn an associates degree in nursing.
“I wanted to be a part of that healing process,” she said. “I worked in a couple of hospitals and soon found my passion – home health nursing.”
Deaton continues her mission today as an RN case manager for Amedisys Home Health, where she takes pride in changing the lives of her patients for the better.
“Seeing my patients’ smiles when I walk in their door and knowing they feel comforted and reassured when I leave is the ultimate reward,” she pointed out. As for future goals, Deaton plans to concentrate her efforts on being an educator and assisting other nurses who choose to work in home treatment.