It is with great sadness that I must announce the following:
One of Georgia's finest APRNs passed away on February 23, 2014 and I know many hearts are saddened over this grief and emptiness.
Penny Maynard was a Family Nurse Practitioner in Georgia for more than 15 years. I was fortunate to have known her in the role of outstanding clinician, motivator, role model, nursing leader, pioneer, and friend.
I first met Penny over 16 years ago when she came to work with United Healthcare Georgia. I had participated in her new employee orientation when she began her affiliation with the Evercare Georgia program. I immediately liked her for her no "non-sense" approach to caring for older adults but, also for her genuine concern, empathy, and compassion that she demonstrated to all of her patients.
Such fine qualities contributed to her success in United Healthcare as Penny's wonderful demeanor and hard work ethic quickly afforded her several promotions within the company. Wiith very few individuals at United Healthcare Georgia possessing such abilities, Penny found herself in the top executive nursing position for the Evercare Georgia program. In this pivotal role, her professional legacy impacted the lives of many Nurse Practitioners throughout Georgia. In turn, this led to improved quality indicators in the healthcare of thousands of Georgians living in long-term care facilities.
On a more personal note, I believe that Penny had the heart, intellect, and spirit of a lion, yet possessed the gentle, demure touch of a woman whom had truly found her professional niche in life. She always exuded style, grace under pressure, and a genuine concern for her patients, colleagues, and the future of healthcare in Georgia. The many hearts and lives that she touched and impacted expand far beyond the borders of Georgia. I know that my life while at Evercare was richly blessed and that I am a better person for having known her.
At the end of her journey, I am sure that her fatigued body must have received quite a sense of peace, joy, and satisfaction in knowing that she had fulfilled God's plan for her life. And although her family, friends, and patients will grieve the absence of such a beautiful presence in their lives, I am confident in knowing that the angels rejoiced throughout heaven when their beloved Penny returned home on February 23, 2014.
We should all take note in the lessons that her life and her commitment represent as she epitomized the values and characteristics of our profession, our organization, and our existence as human beings. With such a powerful legacy, Penny challenged each of us to find our niche in this world and to fulfill our destiny to the very best of our abilities.
I want to honor her efforts, her values, and her beloved memory in re-naming our organizational scholarship, the Penny Maynard Memorial Scholarship! Her legacy will not only live on through her family, friends, patients, and other APRNs throughout the state, but also in knowing that despite her premature death, those quintessential values that she represented and held so dear will now be shared by our organization and our profession.
We will miss your laughter, smile, wisdom, and encouraging words, but know that our lives have been made richer and more fulfilling because of you. May your spirit live on in all of us and in this organization.
Rest now dear friend.
James F. Lawrence, Ph.D. APRN BC HPCN FAANP
State UAPRN President