Boards and Committees

Board/Committee Name:Treasure Coast Organization of Nurse Executives
Position: Elected

Board/Committee Name: Health Council of SE Florida Palm Beach Gardens
Position: Appointed

Board/Committee Name:Children’s Service Council, Shared Services Network, School Health Advisory Committee for Martin County
Position: Appointed

Board/Committee Name:Health Access Network Delivery Systems (H.A.N.D.S)
Position: Network member and volunteer

Corner Office Leader

Jennifer Doak
Professor, Indian River State College

How has your background as a nurse affected your understanding of leadership?
Working in the nursing industry for thirty eight years has taught me that you have to be present to influence decisions. The responsibility is on all nurses to become knowledgeable about our industry problems and its’ accomplishments. Becoming aware of the issues that affect us is the start of the process, but with understanding, all nurses need to become involved in our legislative laws, professional associations, local politics and nursing research.

What about feedback you've received about your leadership style over the years?
Working in the emergency room for fourteen year and as a professor for twenty five years, has allowed me to work in teams. Group work requires listening skills, and my definition of nursing is that I am a “listening servant”. Because crisis occurs often in the emergency room and emotions run high, I have been told that I keep a very calm front. Patients’ want confidence and compassion from the nurse. Leaders must be able to instill that confidence, let the team know success is within reach and guide the way.

Were there any key moments that set you on your current career path?
The biggest career change was deciding to complete my D.N.P. at University of Florida. The project I worked on is the thing I am most proud of in my career. By sheer luck, I was able to work as a founding member of the Health Access Network Delivery Systems. This was a grass roots effort by local community organizers to start a free health clinic in St Lucie County Florida. I worked with amazing people in the county including the late Larry Lee, and the former county administrator, Doug Anderson. The network, as we called ourselves, worked for three years getting an affiliate Volunteer In Medicine clinic up and running. This included finding the location, working with the architects, getting funding, writing policies/procedures, hiring staff, getting equipment, setting up a web site, recruiting volunteers and choosing a computerized medical records system. A side project that happened was we started a pediatric dental screening program. This program won a state award the first year and now screens thousands of children for dental caries.

What I learned from this endeavor is that when the cause is right, no one in the community will say no. St. Lucie County had the most amazing response from its’ residents. The clinic opened in October 2010 and is still serving the uninsured residents of St Lucie County. This clinic can be viewed at the website


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