3 Nurses Share Why They Strive  

Strive Health
Left to right: LaToya Dillard, RN, BSN, Betsy Gonzales, RN, and Margaret Warner, Telephonic NP

Nephrology nurses and nurse practitioners play a critical role in Strive’s mission to deliver compassionate kidney care the way it should be done. At Strive, nurses are part of the highly specialized care team known as the Kidney Heroes™, which also includes dietitians, social workers, care coordinators, medical assistants and office managers.  

Betsy Gonzales, RN, LaToya Dillard, RN, BSN, and Margaret Warner, Telephonic NP, share why they joined the Kidney Heroes™ and the impact it has made on them since. A common thread that runs through their narratives is an unwavering passion to provide compassionate care and a meaningful support system — and to ensure their patients have access to the resources they need.   

What do you do in your role at Strive and why/how did you get into this field? 

Betsy: I joined the team in March 2023 as an RN Care Manager. For me, the field of nephrology is close to home. I started dialysis at a young age, and I knew I wanted to help others like me. I now am an RN educator for pre-dialysis patients, which is something I have always wanted to do. 

LaToya: I’m an RN Care Manager. I teamed up with Strive in November 2022. Being an RN Care Manager, you almost become an extended part of your patient’s family. It is very rewarding and heartwarming. One of the most rewarding aspects of a career in nursing is the ability to connect with our patients on such an intimate level. Although we often meet under difficult circumstances, we get to know our patients very quickly and play an important role in their lives. 

Margaret: As a Telephonic Nurse Practitioner, I move from market to market as needed while we grow. I see patients via video or telephone to ensure they receive appropriate medical management, provide education and identify any unaddressed psychosocial needs. Additionally, I have been precepting new NPs. After completing a degree in biology and searching for a career with consistent job security, I became a nurse. It turned out to be a great fit and I continued my education to become certified as an NP.

Why do you Strive? 

Betsy: I Strive because I wish I had Strive when I started dialysis and after my first transplant. 

LaToya: I Strive for all my patients who have no support system or advocate. I Strive to take care of my patients and to ensure they have understanding, support and someone to talk to during hard times. Working at Strive has allowed me to merge my love for nephrology with my passion for case management. 

Margaret: I Strive because I believe that empowering people with education and the ability to make informed decisions about their health and treatments is the way it should be. Before joining Strive, I worked with hospice patients. Although they were at a different stage of life than most our patients, the principle remains the same. The sooner patients become aware of conditions and are educated about prevention and treatments, the greater the chance for them to influence the outcomes.

What is your most memorable patient story? 

Betsy: I had a home visit with a patient whose family was kind, sweet and organized with her medical records. The daughters were the main caregivers and they would call if they needed anything. 

LaToya: There isn’t just one most memorable patient story. Every interaction I have had with my patients has changed my life for the better and has left a lasting impression on me and my career as a nurse. 

Margaret: I don’t have one single most memorable patient story. I recall many “little wins” that accumulate to improved outcomes. Often, patients have expressed gratitude to me for helping them get what they need, providing them with information and simply listening to what matters most in their lives. The greatest patient stories would not be possible without the contribution of everyone on the team.

How do you decompress during your free time when you’re not saving lives?  

Betsy: I decompress by shopping for deals, going out with friends and traveling. 

LaToya: I decompress with quiet time when I can get it. I love to read a book or even meditate so that I can be at my best. 

Margaret: I decompress by spending time with my kids, being outdoors and exercising. Gardening and yard work serve as my therapy. I also usually exercise with friends, which makes it even more enjoyable.

To hear more from Strive’s Kidney Heroes™, click here. To explore Kidney Heroes™ career opportunities, click here

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