Black History Month: Recognizing Our Exceptional Travelers
At Aya Healthcare, we support, include and value our 50,000 clinicians that put their hearts and souls into the care they provide to communities in need. This February, while our nation celebrates and honors the countless achievements made by African Americans for Black History Month, we want to recognize and commend these five clinicians for embodying the values and true essence of what it means to be an extraordinary Aya traveler.
Shanet Reed, Special Education Teacher
With a master’s degree in Special Education, Shanet joined a school in Colorado to help some of the school district’s most vulnerable youth — elementary school children with Autism, Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities.
“I was looking for a job where I could truly make an impact and help vulnerable populations. My background, education and passion lie in helping children with special needs. I truly love what I do and am grateful for the opportunity to work in a welcoming environment that celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion. The families and staff truly believe in equity for all students, and I am so very honored to be part of the team.”
Sandi Moore-Foggey, Licensed Vocational Nurse
Sandi is a mother and she’s been a travel nurse since 2008. She has a variety of experience including medical-surgical, COVID, pediatrics and mental health. Sandi has a Master’s in Public Health, is an adjunct health administration instructor and will be pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice in the fall. She has worked in hospitals, schools and correctional facilities, and is currently working in California at a school caring for a child with special needs.
“When I saw the job posting, I knew right away it was for me. I could relate to this child and the family because of my personal experience. I chose to leave Georgia and travel 3,000 miles to California because I wanted to provide this child with the help and care my son never had. One of my sons was hit by a car and suffered a brain injury. Due to the lack of support and help his school was able to offer at that time, I quit my job to stay at home to ensure my son had everything he needed. I absolutely love my current assignment and the ability to support the school and this child as a travel nurse. Traveling lets me have total control over my career, master so many skills and accept positions that keep me from feeling burnout, all while doing what I love to do — caring for others.”
Justin Jammer, Sterile Processing Technician
Studies show that less than ten percent of all sterile processing technicians are Black. Justin’s been a loyal Aya traveler since May 2021. Originally from Arizona, Justin has worked in Washington, Massachusetts and is currently on assignment in San Diego, California.
“I come from a big family. I’m one of eight kids. I love what I do and the difference I’m making because of the people I meet. What I like most about being a traveler is getting to explore and engage with the communities I’m working in. From baseball games to Lunar New Year celebrations, it’s great that my assignments are in culturally rich, diverse and vibrant cities where everyone can feel accepted and welcomed.”
Makaya Carter, Cardiac Thoracic ICU Nurse
Makaya first began travel nursing back in December 2018. Hailing from Tennessee, Makaya has worked in six different states. Makaya is one of our heroes that worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, ensuring quality care was available to patients in need. She’s currently on assignment in California and is studying to become a Nurse Practitioner at UCLA. (Go Bruins!)
“I was working in the ICU when COVID-19 first hit Washington. I held the hands of COVID patients, so they didn’t have to die alone. I was in Seattle in 2020 when for three months riots and protests were held over the killing of George Floyd. While the missed holidays, tears, loneliness and emotional exhaustion were valleys, the peaks were the lives I saved and the friends I made as a travel nurse. I’ll always look for the good in people and I treat everyone with kindness and love. The main reason why I wanted to go back to school is because I want to enhance my knowledge so I can be a vessel, an advocate and improve situations surrounding diversity in healthcare and health disparities. Promoting and providing equal and quality healthcare to underserved and underrepresented populations and communities is important to me. As a nurse practitioner, I plan to use my platform to break the stigma within mental health for minority women by providing more resources, doing the research to help women of color who struggle with mental health and know that it is okay to say, ‘I’m not okay.’ I’m thankful, grateful and humbled to be a nurse because I’m in the service of others.”
Patrick Smith, MS/Tele Nurse
Patrick is from Alabama and earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!). He’s been an Aya travel nurse since August 2021 and has worked in Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana and is currently on assignment in Georgia. Patrick enjoys the nomadic lifestyle that travel nursing offers and has learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
“Travel nursing has given me a chance to learn new skills that help me be a better nurse. I was on assignment in Indiana working in a college town not too long ago, and a patient came in that we needed to treat for frostbite. If I didn’t step out of my comfort zone and decide to choose work in a cold-weather state, I’d never know how to help. I genuinely enjoy meeting new people, living in different neighborhoods, and really enjoy the travel nurse life. I have my eyes set on Massachusetts and look forward to experiencing New England in the summer.”
If you’re ready to make a difference like these amazing clinicians, register today and find a position that meets your personal and professional goals!