When Jerone Buchanan began her role as a nurse administrator for our Medical Foster Care team in 2018, she realized it would require her to roll up her sleeves and learn every component of the system.
Jerone oversees two teams of nurses who are responsible for the care of 166 medically fragile children in foster care. They conduct monthly home visits, manage doctor’s appointments, and work with foster parents to adequately care for patients ranging from newborns to young adults up to age 21.
“I had to learn the system and turn around and teach it,” Jerone said. “I had to do it while carrying a whole case load. Even though it was tough, it really helped me to understand the job better. If you’re going to supervise someone, you can only give them direction if you understand what the job is.”
Jerone came to Children’s Aid with more than 30 years of nursing and management experience. After working as a home care coordinator at St. Luke’s Hospital for 11 years, she decided to work in a community-based setting instead. She used her skills to manage nurses in the Health + Hospitals system who provided home care for patients across hospitals in Manhattan.
In 2007, Jerone realized she wanted to further her education and take on a new challenge. She received her MBA in healthcare management and took a job as the assistant director of nursing for ambulatory care at Bellevue Hospital. She credits Bellevue Hospital for building her management skills.
“I wanted a different challenge,” Jerone said. “I learned a lot. They have some wonderful nurses, and it was such a joy to work with them.”
In 2018, Jerone accepted a role with Children’s Aid, which would allow her to work closely with a population that she hadn’t before – children.
“I had worked with children, but not at such a grand scale,” Jerson said. “It was very unique. It was an opportunity for me to learn and I love to learn something new. It touched on everything I had experienced. I was experienced in case management, home care, ambulatory care. That’s why I liked it.”
The medical foster care department was short staffed when Jerone first started her job. She conducted home visits, went to Children’s Aid clinics with clients, and trained current staff while working to build up the department.
“My years of experience really kicked in and helped me,” she said. “If I didn’t come in with the experience, I could not have succeeded in this job.”
Jerone takes pride in the group of nurses she manages and can recall many moments when staff went above and beyond to help a client.
Monique from the Brooklyn team went to Target to purchase baby formula for a family with her own money. Margaret noticed that one of her clients was struggling to use Zoom for their appointments, so she decided to conduct them in-person instead. Lisbeth went to a pharmacy to purchase medication for a child when home deliveries were not an option.
“This is what the nurses do,” she said. “There are tons of stories like that – the nurses identify a problem and they really help the foster parents and the children get the care they need.”
Jerone, who immigrated to New York from Anguilla in the 1980s, said deciding to become a nurse is one of the best decisions she ever made.
“I am proud to be a nurse,” she said. “That’s the best decision I made in terms of my career. I’ve had a successful career and I have met some wonderful people.”