Carrying on a Family Legacy, Alana Ramos Exemplifies Compassion, Concern for Others

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Wednesday, July 28, 2021 10:22 AM
  Students, Nursing Education, Masters, Nurse Practitioner, Alumni

Courage, compassion, and concern for others.

When Alana Ramos ’14N, ’21N (MS) read those words to describe the winner of the Elizabeth Clinger Young Award, only one name came to mind: Mom. Her mother, Peg Beverly, was a beloved elementary school nurse for a dozen years in the tiny Gananda School District east of Rochester, and those traits are exactly the ones Ramos would choose to characterize her as a nurse.

Beverly passed away unexpectedly last August, so when Ramos learned that she was selected to be the recipient of the Elizabeth Clinger Young Award at the University of Rochester School of Nursing Commencement in May, she was blown away to be cast in the same light as her mother.

“I did a double take,” recalled Ramos, a graduate of the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program. “When I first read it, I said, ‘That’s my mom!’ Those are the qualities she instilled in me, so this award is very meaningful to me.

“I was so shocked. I felt so humbled and honored and grateful that someone recognized those qualities in me.”

Not surprisingly, family and the human connections formed in all the different types of relationships we have with others, play an outsized role in Ramos’ life. As a tribute to her mom’s legacy, Ramos plans to donate the monetary award to a nursing scholarship at Gananda that she and her sisters created in memory of their mom.

Almost a year earlier, when the science was not yet settled on exactly how COVID was spread, Ramos, working as an assistant nurse manager on a medical observation unit at Strong Memorial Hospital, worried about unknowingly carrying the virus home from the hospital and passing it to her son. Deciding that she wanted to take every precaution to keep her child safe, they didn’t see each other face to face for more than a month.

 “There was so much unknown, but I was determined not to bring this thing home to him,” Ramos said. “It was so hard. We FaceTimed every day, but that doesn’t really do it. The one silver lining of COVID is that it has reminded people the value of relationships and person-to-person contact. It’s highlighted how fortunate we are to have relationships with people.”

Drive by the desire to connect and help those in her world, Ramos enrolled in the UR Nursing Accelerated Program for Non-Nurses (APNN) in 2013. She had been working at the Anthony Jordan Health Center in Rochester, dealing primarily with patients struggling with the dual daggers of addiction and poor mental health. She thought she wanted to go on to become a psych/mental health NP but her clinical rotations with the accelerated program helped to steer her to primary care.

“Seeing patients and how we can tackle their problems in a more holistic way, that’s when I knew primary care was for me,” Ramos said. “I love that in primary care you do everything, be everything, and really be that central piece for patients.”

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A year after graduating, Ramos vaulted into a leadership role at Strong. She was promoted to assistant nurse manager and began working as a preceptor. She also re-enrolled at the UR School of Nursing looking to further her education. Upon graduating this past May, she accepted an NP position in the Solid Organ Transplant department at Strong, working specifically with liver transplants. She plans to spend some time focusing on becoming the best NP she can be, but also has her eyes set on pursuing another degree down the road, possibly a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

“I’m so thankful for my UR Nursing education. I know that the U of R overprepares its nurses. I felt that way when I started – that I was getting a really solid foundation – and then in my role helping to educate other nurses, I can always see a difference when I’m working with a U of R grad. When I eventually go back to school, it will be there,” Ramos said. “I can’t imagine going anywhere else. It feels like home to me.”