From the time she was a little girl, Debbie Gibbons, RN, CPLC, knew what she wanted to do professionally.
“My mom tells me that when I was 3 years old, I said that I would be a nurse,” said Gibbons, labor and delivery nurse and bereavement coordinator for women’s services at the Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. “When I applied for colleges, I only looked at options with strong nursing programs. I honestly never considered doing anything else.”
After graduating from Roberts Wesleyan College in New York, Gibbons joined the U.S. Air Force and served as a nurse. While stationed in San Antonio, she met her husband and had three children before relocating to Lexington in 1998 and launching her career with Saint Joseph East.
Putting Families First
In addition to providing her labor and delivery nursing expertise to the hospital, Gibbons, who led a bereavement program while serving at a military hospital, felt moved to launch a bereavement program for women’s services at Saint Joseph East. These programs, which are offered at all CHI Saint Joseph Health facilities with maternity care, help families who have lost a baby during pregnancy or soon afterbirth.
Today, the bereavement program at Saint Joseph East offers prayer and burial services every other month at Calvary Cemetery and also includes emotional support for families.
“I feel like God moved me to this place for a reason,” Gibbons said. “I feel at home at a faith-based facility with a strong reverence for life.”
Along with offering guidance during challenging times, Gibbons also finds tremendous meaning in helping bring new babies into the world at the Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East.
“We are a big team that collaborates to provide the best care that we can,” Gibbons said. “Everyone brings a special gift to the table. Together, we work hard to make a difference in the lives of the families we serve in the good and bad times. It is especially rewarding to see a family come back and have a baby here after they have experienced a previous loss, reminding us that the care, love and respect we provided made them want to come back again.”
The Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East celebrated the 10th anniversary of its founding in March. To learn more about the facility, click here.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.