Janice Cotrone has devoted her adult life to improving healthcare in the country of Haiti. She served as Director of Nursing, Pediatric Programs, Surgery, and held the position of Station Manager. Upon living full-time in Haiti for 26 years, Cotrone and her family moved back to the United States and settled in Naples, Florida for 6 years, pastoring there. Her husband then retired, and the family moved to Missouri. “However, in 2012, The Lord spoke to me very clearly at the General Conference of the Wesleyan Church and He wanted me to return to Haiti and open a four year RN/BSN School of Nursing,” Cotrone said.
Cotrone returned to IWU to receive a degree in Nursing Education, and when she finished with that, she jumped right into the Doctorate Program. The four year RN/BSN launched the first class of freshman in 2014 and things have been going smoothly. The program is only one of two in the entire country of Haiti. There are over 600 schools of nursing in Haiti, only 50 being accredited and Cotrone’s school is one of those 50. A few years ago, the school was given a distinguished honor by USAID and the department of public health in Haiti. “I am very thankful we received that award. We are seeing the outcome. We are already seeing things happen, and I just thank the Lord for helping me shoulder this kind of load and program,” Cotrone responded.
Cotrone currently travels to Haiti often to maintain upkeep of the school and teach. However, she is not able to live there full-time because she has assumed care of her mother here in the United States. Her son recently began school at IWU. Cotrone believes that in the future, the school will have many other degree options for students.
Cotrone’s time at IWU throughout the years has prepared her for multiple disciplines. She also believes that her background in life helped her wear the many hats she has to do daily. “IWU gave me the foundation I needed to handle what my life would look like down the road,” Cotrone stated. She is strategically placed to change the face of healthcare for the entire nation of Haiti. To Cotrone, it is much more than just training nurses, though. She said, “I want to train these young people for life, and I put heavy emphasis on this. We have bible classes taught every trimester.” The ratio of nurses to citizens in Haiti is 1 RN for over 9,000 people. Cotrone believes her greatest joy is preparing her students to not only save lives physically, but through salvation in Jesus Christ as well.
“I am blown away. I am not really an extraordinary person, I just work for an extraordinary God. It is such an honor. I just feel like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing in the world. When you are doing what you are supposed to do, should you be awarded for that? I don’t know. I am very honored and humbled to receive this award. I appreciate IWU. They’ve been very supportive of me,” responded Cotrone when asked how she felt about receiving the award.
This award is granted to an alumnus or alumna of the School of Nursing who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ, and will be awarded during the Homecoming Weekend of October 7th.
Written by Emily Lehner, a writer for the Alumni Center and a sophomore Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.