Retired Lieutenant Commander and Navy Nurse Corps Officer, Sheree Scott, is volunteering with Champions for Health to give virtual Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Presentations around the county in between teaching classes at San Diego Continuing Education and earning a doctoral degree.
“I felt a void after I left the military and often question myself with what else could I be doing. I'm really giving back in the smallest way,” said Scott. “After being in the Navy for 24 years, I think about the people I served with, worked with or worked for, and what they are going through right now and I think about where I would be deployed to if I was not retired.”
Champions for Health (formerly San Diego County Medical Society Foundation) provides access to critically needed healthcare for uninsured low-income residents of San Diego County who would otherwise face insurmountable barriers to care. By leveraging partner volunteer efforts, the organization can offer these services more frequently.
“We have been contracted by the County of San Diego to be the main point of contact for COVID-19 presentations. There is a lot of information on social media, the news, and more, and we want to make sure that San Diegans receive up to date information that is verified by the county,” said Andrew Gonzalez, Champions for Health Manager. “Our partnerships with healthcare volunteers like Sheree allow individuals to connect with clinicians and get a more informed understanding of COVID-19. We are experts at working with marginalized populations and want to ensure that they have access to accurate information no matter their barrier or language need.”
Alongside Champions for Health, Scott has presented to the North County Farmer Workers Care Coalition, Teachers for Healthy Kids, and fills speaker requests as needed through Zoom. The health presentation addresses real time needs around the COVID-19 Pandemic, such as prevention, spreading of the disease, symptoms, testing, telehealth, and concludes with up-to-date public health orders and a question and answer session regarding clinical and policy information.
Following Scott’s military retirement last fall, she took on another philanthropic role. Now working as a Healthcare Careers instructor at San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE), teaching Certified Nurse Assistant courses, Medical Terminology, and supports students during clinical rotations.
SDCE offers six free Healthcare Career certificates; Nursing Assistant, Rehabilitative Nursing Assistant, Acute Care Nursing Assistant, Personal Care Assistant/Caregiver, Home Health Aide and Behavioral Home Health Aide. Due to the urgency to protect public health in the wake of the COVID-19 SDCE has transitioned to alternative/remote modes of instruction through the spring semester.
In addition to teaching and volunteering, Scott is a doctoral student at the University of San Diego’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science. The goal, she said, is to contribute to the development and promotion of the profession of skilled healthcare workers through instruction and field research.
That's why Scott chose SDCE. “The mission of the institution is so important— they serve everyone. I don’t just want to advance the knowledge of aspiring registered nurses, but I want to include all fields from RN to CNA.”
SDCE is the center of a comprehensive continuing education program serving approximately 40,000 students, many of whom transition to San Diego City, Mesa, or Miramar colleges for associate degrees.