Community service is in a day's work for Dr. Chaperon

April 24, 2012

For Claudia Chaperon, Ph.D., community service is its own reward.

"If you can help an older person to stay in their preferred home, maintain their independence and function, have improved memory and alleviate other health problems, he or she will be the most appreciative patient you can hope for," the assistant professor in the College of Nursing said.

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Dr. Chaperon's work aims to make Nebraska a place where multiple entities work to improve the lives of the state's older residents.
Dr. Chaperon has developed "Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Programs" for UNMC's Mobile Nurse Managed Clinic, an Omaha retirement community and a community-based palliative care agency. The programs have helped older Nebraskans and those who care for them throughout the state.

Her goal with the programs is to foster communities where patients, caregivers and health care providers efficiently work together to provide safe and comfortable environments for older Nebraskans.

For this work, Dr. Chaperon will receive the UNMC Spirit of Community Service Award on Wednesday at the Annual Faculty Meeting. Below, Dr. Chaperon talks more about service.

How did you start in your community service activities?

I have always been involved in community service. I went to my first nursing education on a Red Feather Scholarship for service in high school. I have never stopped. Nursing is in itself a community-based service practice. Even if a nurse works in acute care, she is aware of the needs of her outgoing patients and worries about their needs in the community after discharge from the hospital.

Why do you feel community service is important?

The needs of the community are always above and beyond what any health insurance, medical team, agency or program can provide. To be a citizen means doing your part. For my part, my job has provided me with wonderful opportunities to serve rural Nebraskans. The additional above-and-beyond-the-job activities are contagious and so many of my co-workers and community partners all across the rural plains do so much more than I do. It is indeed inspiring to work with these wonderful Nebraskans to achieve a better world for others.

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Joan Harvey
April 28, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Congratulations! SUCH important work!!

Alice Tvrdik
April 24, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Well deserved Dr. Chaperon!