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2018-10-9

Caring is Cool for this SVCC Alumnus

Hope Alexander’s job is cool because she has spent her entire career caring for others.  There is a quote, “Care for one, that’s love, care for hundreds…. that’s nursing.” 

Alexander started her career at the early age of 16 as a Licensed Practical Nurse who completed the program at Southside Virginia Community College.  Now, she is a full time Family Nurse Practitioner employed by Centra Health Systems. She mainly works out of the Burkeville office. 

She has her own assigned patients and manages chronic and acute conditions. 

As the only female provider in the office she notes, “I so enjoy my calling. I dare not say it’s a job.  Jobs are chores... this is my passion.”

When Alexander isn’t caring for patients Monday through Friday 8:30am to 5pm, she extends herself and works at least two Saturdays a month from 8 am to 12 noon at the Walk-In Urgent Care Center in Farmville, Va.  

Graduating at 16 from Bluestone High School, the Boydton native then attended SVCC and completed the Practical Nursing Program.  She went on to work at Duke University Hospital in the Emergency Department, the Intensive Care Unit working with spinal cord injuries and open-heart surgery patients for five years.

“Then, I came back to SVCC,” she says enthusiastically about receiving her Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 1999.  

During this time, she continued to work at Duke part-time.   

After becoming a Registered Nurse, Alexander worked for Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill (now VCU Health Community Memoria Hospital) and during this time, she also tutored ADN students at SVCC.  Later, she became an adjunct instructor for her alma mater teaching campus lab, drug dosage, health assessment and clinical instruction at the Emporia/Greensville hospital (now Southern Virginia Regional Hospital).  

With no reduction in energy and drive working all these full-time jobs, she continued to be a student.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Liberty University and, a BA in social work and business administration.  In 2011, she completed a Master’s in business education and Leadership through Liberty also.

And then, there is more…she went back for her Nurse Practitioner(NP) in 2015 completing this degree from South University.  An NP is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who has additional responsibilities for administering patient care than RNs. NPs can prescribe medication, examine patients, diagnose illnesses, and provide treatment, much like physicians do.

And, finally, she completed her Ph.D. from Liberty in psychology. But, there may be more classes out there for Alexander to pursue. 

Also, during all the studying, Alexander was busy being a mom to three children, a daughter and two sons.   People asked why she kept going, kept studying and adding degrees.

“I was hungry for more,” she said. 

The energizer bunny has nothing on Alexander.  At home, she takes care of her family and three chihuahuas and reads in her spare time.

“SVCC gave me my start.  As for my children, failure is not an option and I use myself as an example for them,” she said.    

“I tell them anyone can play a sport, but knowledge is power,” Alexander said.   

Alexander has a powerfully cool job as she takes care of her community every day with enthusiasm, pride and a smile.

She has many mantras that she applies to her life.  One in particular is this, “If you love what you do... you will never work a day in your life.”

Breast Cancer Awarness at BA

The students and faculty of Brunswick Academy wore Pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness on Tuesday, October 2.

Hunting the White Tail Deer and Chronic Wasting Disease

This year, I was one of the legislators to represent Virginia at the Southern Leadership Annual Conference in St. Louis, MI. I attended several workshops on education, economic development, public safety, and sportsmen rights. As a member of the Virginia Sportsmen Caucus and an advocate for hunting/ sportsman rights, I discussed the future of hunting as a sport with John Culclasure, who is the manager of the Congressional Sportsman Foundation at the National Sportsmen caucus meeting. One of the major hunting concerns nationwide that is impacting rural communities, is the spread of chronic wasting disease among the white tail deer population.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that affect deer, elks, and moose. This disease is transmitted to deer through saliva, feces, urine and through water or soil contaminated with an abnormal infectious protein called prion. The signs and symptoms of this disease (CWD) in deer are progressive weight loss, excessive thirst, teeth grinding, excessive salivation and holding the head in a lowered position and drooping ears.

Chronic Wasting Disease was first discovered in Virginia in 2009. The first case was found in November in 2017 in Frederick County.  The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have tested 16 positive deer with chronic wasting disease during the months of October -November throughout Frederick, Warren, Shenandoah and Clarke County. Although chronic wasting disease poses a very serious threat to the deer population, the effects of the disease have shown to impose no substantial health risks to humans or domestic animals.

As we approach the deer hunting season, please be aware of this infectious disease that is gradually spreading among the white tail deer population. If you identify a deer exhibiting the above listed signs and symptoms, please contact the Game and Inland Fisheries or my office. Please feel free to invite me to your hunt club or church, or civic organization meeting by contacting my office at (434) 336-1710 or email delrtyler@house.virginia.gov.

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