Articles / 2012
Community Memorial Hospital nurse specialist wins Hospital Hero award
Ventura County Star
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Loquintha Rex, a diabetes nurse specialist and educator with Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, has received the Hospital Hero award, which recognizes exceptional talent in hospital workers throughout the Hospital Association — Southern California region.
Rex, who has been with the hospital since 2008 and has worked there off and on since 1999, was nominated by her peers.
The 39-year-old said she was surprised to receive the award, given annually by the National Health Foundation.
"It's a great honor for me. I spent my whole life trying to improve patient care, and this is the first time that it's been really recognized," she said, adding that all the work she has done was not to win an award.
"I do this just to see the smiles on patients' faces and knowing that they're doing better when they leave the hospital," she said.
The age range of patients she sees for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is 20 to about 90, but she has also seen pediatric patients.
"Diabetes has grown dramatically over the years, and it continues to grow," Rex said about cases in Ventura County. "The biggest thing is focusing on keeping your weight down and losing weight if you are overweight."
Loquintha Rex, a nurse practitioner at Community Memorial Hospital, talks with patient Marcella Meloni.
Daily exercise and a well-balanced diet are key in prevention, she added.
"I have a lot of family members who have diabetes, including both my parents, so I know that eventually one day I will have diabetes. So I figured I should really get to know diabetes now," said the married Ventura mother of four.
In addition to learning about the disease for herself, Rex has helped teach others at the hospital as well as the public. She created diabetes resource binders for every department, serves as co-chairwoman of a diabetes care committee and created a diabetes resource nurse program.
Rex also offers a diabetes support group that meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month.
"The first 30 minutes is generally focused on a topic. The second 30 minutes is basically open to the class — if they want to discuss a specific point or have questions," Rex said.
She also meets with two endocrinologists in Ventura, Dr. Tricia Westhoff-Pankratz and Dr. Ronald Chochinov.
"We have meetings, discussions, a lot of over-the-phone about patients who I am seeing in the hospital and in the outpatient clinics where I also work and how we can improve the care and if there are any trends and where we need to improve care," she said.
"Her contributions to the hospital and to the whole community for diabetes is unbelievable," Westhoff-Pankratz said. "She is so dedicated and done so much behind-the-scenes that isn't even recognized. She has personal contact with patients. She goes above and beyond what is required, and patients all uniformly, absolutely love her."