Valdosta Daily Times

June 24, 2013

Love of nursing leads to many careers

Kristin Finney
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Tiffany Crowell’s desire to help others doesn’t simply stop with her career. It touches every aspect of her life.

Crowell is a 2001 graduate of Valdosta High School. Following graduation, she moved to Tallahassee and received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University to become a registered nurse. During college, Crowell was inducted into the White and Gold honors society,  was a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing, and was also the co-chair of the Bethune Committee of the National Council of Negro Women. And while that busy schedule might seem like it leaves little time for studying, Crowell still managed to graduate Cum Laude.  

Following in her college tradition, she is still active in as many community service projects and community service programs as she can find time for. Crowell serves as the first vice president of the NCNW, the director for the Baby Luv program, a member of the Infant Mortality Task Force, a staff nurse at Peaceway Counseling and Mediation services, the Perinatal Executive Director at Women’s Health Program and much more.

Crowell’s love for nursing has led her through many medical careers that she loved. Her first job following graduation was as an RN for three years at Smith Northview Hospital where she worked on the medical surgical unit as the RN Team Leader. She then went to United Hospice where she was a case manager for one year, and remains part time with them.

“I love hospice and I love nursing. Nursing is my passion and it is what I have been called to do. I love to take care of people and hopefully nurse them back to health, and if not then to make sure that they have the most carefree life towards the end of care. I love providing that comfort and care and respect that they need towards the end of life. Hospice is really my passion.”

Currently serving as the Perinatal Executive Director at Women’s Health Program in Valdosta, Crowell is following her passion of nursing every day. During her two-and-a-half years as Executive Director, she has been in charge of tracking infant deaths for the 10 county districts and researching the causes of death and helping determine how to prevent the same type of deaths from happening in the future. She also provides information to all of the local hospitals and OBGYN offices on prenatal care, SIDS prevention, folic acid and local statistics. Crowell is also a member of the Infant Mortality Task Force, which also focuses on tracking infant deaths and figuring out ways to prevent them.

“I love to educate. I do a lot of health fairs and provide a lot of outreach to our local community. I cover family planning, prenatal care and breast tests,” said Crowell.

Another of Crowell’s passions is for the Baby Luv (Lowndes Unique Victories) program. “Infant mortality was very high in Lowndes County in 2003 and 2004, so we applied for a March of Dimes grant which helped start the Baby Luv program. This program is for high risk African American women. We take these women from their first trimester through the time the infant turns 1 year old and have RN case managers go into their homes and provide intensive in home case management. We inform the women on many different topics including hypertension, diabetes, SIDS, signs and symptoms, pre-term labor, infant CPR and we promote breast feeding. We provide a family unit for our clients as well.”

Since the inception of the Baby Luv program, the program has only had six infant deaths out of their over 600 women served and the infant mortality rate in Lowndes County has decreased by over half.

As the first vice president of the NCNW, Crowell is over all of the committees. “I really love the instillation of the family unit and just bringing everyone together. We have collaborated with the students at Valdosta State University to help on the HIV/AIDS awareness initiative. We also adopted a road for clean up on Shiloh Road. It’s always fun to get together and clean the road and promote a better looking community. “

Each year Crowell participates in the March of Dimes annual three mile March for Babies Walk. She has helped with Habitat for Humanity builds and participated in a walk to support The Haven.

Crowell is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha whose motto is “Service to all mankind.” She is the co-chair on the global poverty committee.

 “During national canned good month, we collected canned goods and donated to the food pantry in Valdosta. We also collected shoes for the Baby Luv program so that the women would have adequate shoes to go to interviews and GED training.”

Despite all of her hard work, Crowell does not look for recognition. However, she was recently nominated for Woman of the Year for 2013. Crowell said of her nomination, “That was a humbling experience just to be nominated. I don’t do my service for recognition,  but that is what I have been designed and called to do, is to serve people. That nomination let me know that my work is not in vain and that we are making a difference in the community. I also loved being able to connect with other women in the community who were doing the same thing. It let me know that I am not out there alone. There are other successful women working together to give back to the community.”

While her present might be busy, that hasn’t stopped Crowell from planning for the future. She is currently enrolled at Thomas University where is pursuing a dual masters degree in nursing and business administration, which she hopes to be able to use to open her own personal care home.

 “I have a love for people and the personal care home is personal and I would be able to provide that home care to individuals that need that personal care home. My grandmother was a nurse and my mom was a nurse so I guess nursing is in my blood. I worked in nursing home care for a while and just to see that if more of the clients could have a more personal care and more one on one that they could have a better quality of life and get that love that could actually help them feel better. My mom, Rosalyn Bythwood, is my driving force and she always taught me to treat others as I want to be treated.”

Crowell is also planning a wedding after her recent engagement to Reggie Vinson.

As for words she lives by, Crowell sites Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” and her favorite poem is Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou.