Asian-American/Pacific Islander Nurses Bring Dedication and Culture to NCCIW

Author: Brad Deen, Communications Officer

For Asian-American and Pacific Islander Month, the health care team at N.C. Correctional Institution for Women has recognized seven members of its nursing staff.
Prisons' nurses have proven themselves many times over during the pandemic, said Dr. James Alexander, NCCIW healthcare facility administrator. "It goes without saying that the past year and more of COVID has been exceedingly difficult," Alexander said, "and it has been nurses such as our Asian-American and Pacific Islander family that have enabled us to be as successful as we have."
The registered nurses of Asian or Pacific ancestry have worked at the prison from 3 months to 20 years. One has made a special contribution toward the coronavirus fight.

Marites Quinto, a 20-year NCCIW veteran, has taken the lead on night shift, which has lacked a nursing supervisor since the pandemic's start. Besides her normal nursing duties, Quinto compiles the facility's daily COVID report, providing information such as affected dorms, isolation dates, retests and much more.
"She submitted the reports daily by 6 a.m., highly accurate and user-friendly," said Debbie Crouell, NCCIW nursing director. "This early reporting decreased the beginning-of-the-day stress for the custody and nursing staffs, as we were able to start our day with the confidence that we had an accurate snapshot of COVID when we walked in the door."
Besides being dedicated and compassionate caregivers, the nurses frequently act as heritage ambassadors — to the delight of their colleagues. "We enjoy the delicious cultural foods they bring, and they usually bring enough for their unit," Crouell said.


NCCIW's nursing staff, pictured above, includes registered nurses of Asian-American and Pacific Islander heritage (from left): Dani Thapa, Luz Pareja, Mary Amador, Suhyang Son, Milagros Gaspar, Marites Quinto and Mar Villanueva.

For Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Department of Public Safety is spotlighting employees who have displayed exemplary service to their communities, either through their job or in their free time. Find more inspiring stories here

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