Joey Reese, RN
Cleveland County Norman office
18 Years of Service
Got any favorite quotes?
Be kind to everyone, because you do not know what is going on in their life.
Who inspires you?
While my parents are the ones who instilled a great work ethic in me, my husband is the one who is always there to encourage me to continue. In my work life, Beverly Bymun has always encouraged me to strive for more. She has been a great mentor throughout the years with both her public health knowledge and her leadership skills.
How did you start working in public health?
I came to work at the health department when my children were small, and like others, I was looking for a daytime job. I was lucky enough to gain employment at the Cleveland County Health Department in Moore. I started as a public health nurse working the clinic and then advanced to the quality assurance nurse for Cleveland County, and eventually as the Coordinating Nurse in Norman.
Can you share a few highlights of your experience in public health in Oklahoma?
One of the highlights that comes to mind is a client who was positive for a particular disease. When she came to the health department, she had just learned of her diagnosis and was scared to death. She was living in a shelter, did not have transportation, and needed medical care. We were able to get her a ride, and she was able to obtain care. She called me back and told me how thankful she was. It was very rewarding to hear the gratitude in her voice and I am glad we were able to help.
In your role, how do you educate people about public health?
In the clinic, we educate a face-to-face or via the telephone. Education is very important for public health, no matter how you go about it. Just getting the word out is important.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
The most difficult part of my job, I would say, would be trying to juggle between client satisfaction and employee satisfaction. Client satisfaction is a big driving force for us, but I think we need to remember the employees also. We couldn’t do anything without them.
What is the most rewarding experience you have had in public health?
The most rewarding experience is developing a good rapport with people you may be helping for a long time. This doesn’t include just the clients, I think working with a great bunch of people who truly care is also part of the reward.
If someone was interested in a public health career, what advice or encouragement would you give them?
I would encourage them to try public health. Yes, there is a lot to learn in the beginning, and it may seem overwhelming but you can do it. You can make a difference in someone’s life. If you like diversity and getting to talk to many different people from different cultures, then public health may be for you.