Carole has been practicing nursing for 23 years. During the early years, she was an educator and staff nurse at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital (PIH). Carole quickly realized that she enjoyed the Emergency Department immensely. Emergency Nursing and Disaster Management became her passion. From 2009 to the present, Carole has been the program manager of Emergency Preparedness at PIH Health. In this role, she oversees emergency preparedness activities for PIH Health’s entire healthcare system which includes PIH Health Hospital – Whittier, PIH Health Physicians medical group and PIH Health Hospital – Downey.
Carole received her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the City College of San Francisco and Pacific Union College. Thereafter, she earned her Master’s in Emergency Management Administration from Cal State Long Beach. If there’s somebody you’d like to be with when the “Big One” strikes California, it would certainly be Carole – our Master of Disaster!
All kidding aside, Carole is actively involved with emergency preparedness organizations. She is the President of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). She also served as the past president of the California State Council ENA, and the former Chair of the Disaster Preparedness Committee for the National ENA.
Just last week, Governor Jerry Brown (CA) appointed Carole to the California Commission on Emergency Medical Services (EMS). All of us at HTS send Carole our heartfelt congratulations for her outstanding achievement. As the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) representative to the commission, Carole advocates for patient safety and excellence in emergency nursing practices. Carole states, “I’ve been involved in disaster preparedness most of my life, and I take emergency preparedness very seriously for myself, my family, PIH Health and my community. It is an honor to be given the opportunity to work with industry leaders and government officials to improve the quality of emergency medical services throughout California.”
As a member of the Commission on EMS, Carole will support the role of EMS agencies to ensure that patients not only have access to quality emergency medical services, but also the long term stability of these services. Once per quarter, at locations throughout California, the Commission meets to provide feedback to the Director of the California Emergency Medical Services Authority and to approve regulations, standards and guidelines developed by the EMS Authority.
Through the years, Carole has played several roles in the healthcare field. She worked as a charge nurse at the ED in White Memorial Hospital and as a sexual assault nurse examiner at Mission Community Hospital. She is also a U.S. Army veteran. It is not unusual for Carole to combine vacation and volunteering. She has traveled to Vietnam and Cuba to advocate for women in leadership. Lynn Aguilera, a Director of Transition Planning at HTS writes, “Let’s not forget her contributions to volunteering to help in relief efforts for Katrina victims, and other instances where people faced dire situations. She has so much passion to do the right thing that is completely inspiring to so many people including me. She helps me remember why we as nurses fight for what is right for our staff and our patients.”
When asked what makes her happy, Carole replied, “Working for free is the best feeling in the world. I had the opportunity to volunteer during the Nias Island earthquake response in April 2005. We traveled to Sumatra, and boarded the USNS Mercy ship, seeing quake-injured patients, and providing humanitarian care to the residents of the island. We had two kids brought on board who needed specialty care. The mission leaders worked with the Sumatran and US governments to bring the kids to the US for treatment. One little two-year old orphan girl had a hole in her heart, and had difficulty gaining weight and growing due to the deficit. All her calories went to breathing and oxygenation. The other little nine-year old girl had cerebral spinal fluid leaking into her nasal cavity leaving her with a deformed face which had her ostracized from her village. Both kids came to the States and had their issues surgically fixed. We had the opportunity to see them off at the airport after their surgeries. Both kids were playful and healthy, and that was a great feeling!”
HTS’s COO and Executive VP, Kelly Guzman, shared the following: “Carole has been an amazing friend and travel companion. We’ve known each other for 20 years and we’ve been through a lot together. She is a terrific friend who has volunteered to help develop some of our very first Day in the Life events. We were new in our “Transition World”, and she thought it was fun. Carole always had something to contribute or improve, and to this day, still does. Every Day in the Life or Move event, I am guaranteed to hear from Carole about what worked well, and what we should do to improve. She’s been instrumental in developing and improving our Day in the Life program! On a personal level, we’ve traveled the world together- trips to Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Holland, China, Africa, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Canada, and North America! She’s a caring and compassionate person who I’m glad is on my side!”
We are lucky to have you on our team, Carole. Congratulations on all your achievements!