Human Contact

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The best part of this job is meeting people. Not to kiss up, but nurses are proving to be fascinating folks to talk to. Still, any reporter will tell you a “phoner” can save time and means you don’t need to wear a clean shirt and nice shoes. Sometimes, deadlines or distance rule out doing an article any other way. For this issue, it was a little of both.

Kerri Miller, DNP grad, was in Missouri and headed to Guadalajara, Mexico, to

check on a crop of agave plants, the fiber from which plays a key role in her attempts to save the world through rehydration therapy and a product called re:iimune (“DNP Trusts Her Gut”). Phoner for sure. Too bad. I’d bet Guadalajara is nice this time of year. Still, she offered, “Doing business in Mexico is a little bit different.”

And even though she’s probably told her story to a million interviewers, Paula Neira, a transgender nurse educator and ex-Navy officer at Johns Hopkins Hospital across the street, preferred to meet in person. (To be honest, I wasn’t 100 percent sure that her request to meet at “1500” meant “3 p.m.” until I saw Paula walking up the hall to meet me.) Forced to leave the military to be true to herself and a pledge she had made, she nonetheless tells a story of faith, pride, determination, and ultimately, peace (“A Fight for Gender Freedom in the Name of Patriotism”).

Both interviews went well, so who’s to say which approach is better? I do hope to meet Kerri Miller in person one day. She sounds like a kick, and a heck of an entrepreneur.

Paula Neira? Next time, phoner. “My gosh, that’s a beautiful answer,” I told her at one point. “Now knock it off! You’re making me cry too.” On a crowded patio. Geez.

Steve St. Angelo

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