Written by Nathan Clendenin for UNC Health Care
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
JoAnne Kroesen, a nurse at North Carolina Children's hospital specialty clinics, is also a volunteer with Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue which is dedicated to helping unwanted and stray golden retrievers through rescue, rehabilitation and adoption. She's got two of her own, Beauty and Desi, and fosters other rescue dogs frequently, until they can find their adopted home.
As a nurse of children most of her career, Kroesen has seen the resilience of the human body, how it can seemingly bounce right back after a traumatic event like surgery or severe illness. She sees that same fortitude in the rescue dogs, as adopted goldens will most often trust their new owners completely over time, even after being mistreated by their first owners. The dogs to come to them for rescue start with a sad story that turns to joy when they find a new owner.
When she's not working as an RN or helping write grants for Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue, Kroesen may be found with Beauty visiting children with disabilities. During the school year, she meets with a class of elementary students who read to Beauty as part of a program called Reading with Rover. Test scores have shown real improvement over just a few months. Beauty is also great at drawing out shy children, as you'll see in the video when they visit a pre-school classroom.
As if working with children and cute puppies weren't enough to satisfy one's quota of fun, JoAnne also gets to work with her sister, Debbi Coningsby, who is also an RN at N.C. Children's. No surprise - Debbi's a lover of golden retrievers, and has an adopted one of her own named Kearney. Meet these dogs and their wonderful owners as you watch this month's RN: Real Nurses.