By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
Registered nurse Dee Reed has worked in fast-paced operating and emergency rooms.
But her work in public health in Harding and Quay counties may have been her most satisfying in 28 years of nursing, Reed said.
“Until I went into public health, I saw a lot of trauma. I spent some time in operating rooms and in trauma centers. Those were exciting years.
“But, when I started seeing the need for public health services, that’s what hooked me – seeing the need and suddenly realizing that need. There are groups of people missing out on care,” Reed said.
This Friday Reed retires as nurse manager of the Quay County Public Health Office after nearly 10 years.
After working in Texas, Oklahoma and other cities in New Mexico, Reed moved to Logan 11 years ago when she married Jerald Reed.
Initially, she worked at Harding County Public Health Office at Mosquero. Then she became nurse manager in Tucumcari at the Quay County Public Health Office, which after a time became the umbrella office for Harding.
As nurse manager, Reed has supervised a staff of two and managed the public health agency’s programs from family planning to immunization and vaccination and others.
The agency’s focus is on certain tests, such as TB, STDs, cervical and breast cancers, and preventative health care.
Although primary care is not offered, the agency does provide referrals, she said.
It is, by the way, not too late to get a flu shot, Reed said.
Over the past two weeks, Reed has been packing up items in her office, including what was known as her “Angel Wall.” On the wall were cards and pictures each with a cherub or angel image.
That was hard, she said. “But leaving my staff and people in the office is going to be the hardest.”
What are her plans for retirement?
“I’ll clean some closets, refinish some furniture and go to Jamaica,” she said with a smile.
And “I’m looking forward to spending more time with my first great-great grandchild in Roy,” she said.
“Retirement’s a little scary … but I’m prepared for that,” Reed said.