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Profile – Public Health Nurse

Profile – Public Health Nurse

Dorey Myers, RN, public health nurse in St. Albans, stands before the completed Swanton Rail Trail with former Commissioner of Health Harry Chen, MD and Judy Ashley-McLaughlin, director of the St. Albans District Health Office.

Dorey Myers, RN
Public Health Nurse
Vermont Department of Health
St. Albans, VT

Dorey Myers, RN, has lived all over the country because of her father’s military career, but when they settled in Vermont during her freshman year in high school, she fell in love with this state. Her mother is a nurse and Dorey was deeply impressed by the relationship between a nurse and her terminally ill grandmother, so she attended the University of Vermont School of Nursing.

“I wanted to develop relationships with people and look at treating them holistically,” she says.

“In nursing school I fell in love with psychiatric nursing because it looked at the whole person; I worked at the Vermont State Hospital for a year, where I saw some people repeatedly. That made me realize I wanted to work on the prevention side of illness, to be sure they get services before they are ill, so I turned to public health nursing.”

At the Vermont Department of Health, Dorey works in school health, chronic disease prevention and HIV/STD prevention. For example, her school health role includes establishing relationships with school nurses and assisting in efforts to enact policy changes related to student nutrition and the ways food is presented to students; establishing a breastfeeding support group; a physical education component in schools, and volunteer crossing guard program, to name a few.

“You don’t see immediate change, but the outcome is amazing because it impacts an entire population and that’s exciting,” Dorey remarks. “The longer you’re in the field, the more change you will see. It’s important to have young people in this field because it is exciting and young people identify with you,” she adds.

Following a childhood of frequent moves, Dorey says she loves Vermont for its environment, because it is:

“a clean and healthy state and I think it’s a supportive state, too.”