Nestled in Long Island’s Gold Coast, Janet grew up in the town of Great Neck. As she describes, “It was an amazing place, where forward thinking, liberal democratic policies, and educational pursuits were the focuses of life. She credits that with giving her “my strong interest in civil rights and equality.”
Janet has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Adelphi along with a Clinical Nurse Specialty in Psychiatric Nursing. She’s also trained as a Holistic Nurse Specialist in AMMA therapy, a form of Korean massage, and is a graduate of The Institute for Training in Social Therapy, with a specialty in group therapy.
Her 34 plus year career has taken her from small community hospitals to large teaching hospitals. In the last 12 years of her career, she worked for the New York City Hospital System and directed a staff of over 400. She is most proud of creating their Crisis Intervention Team, designed to humanize the treatment of psychiatric patients without using physical and or chemical restraints. As she puts it, “It worked! We successfully reduced restraint, both physical and chemical, use to almost zero!” Janet received a city-wide award for that work.
In 1994, Janet’s father purchased property in Ocean View and she began visiting the area. “It was love at first sight!” About two years ago, following changes in her condition of Multiple Sclerosis, she made the difficult decision to retire, yet the easy decision to move to Rehoboth. Janet and her partner, Joy Glass, reside in Sanibel Village, with their new boxer puppy, Sophia. Janet also has a son, Jason.
When/why did you start volunteering at CAMP and what events/activities have you been involved with since?
I started volunteering at CAMP when I moved here offering to do whatever… answering phones, set up for New Year’s Gala or Sundance. Within a year I was asked if I was interested in becoming an HIV counselor and I jumped at the chance. It met my nursing needs and fit well with my desire to help and listen to others. I’m so blessed to be able to help in this way.
Best memory volunteering here?
When I’m able to deliver a negative test result to clients who come for HIV testing and they smile and say thank you. It’s so rewarding to be able to bond and work with someone for just 20-30 minutes and be able to share in their life in such an intimate way. I’m privileged.
What does CAMP Rehoboth mean to you?
Home…for adult gay men and lesbians, a grounding place, a place to rest your soul.
First thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “Rehoboth.”
Rainbows! The first time I came here a large rainbow was sitting in the sky over Rehoboth and I’ve seen at least one each year, guarding and announcing the town and its acceptance.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the off season?
Off-season was a real worry for me. Now off-season means cooking classes, reading, and dinner with friends, walking through town and being able to park ANYWHERE.
If you could spend a full day with one person, who would it be? Why?
My son, when he was five years old. At that time, I worked three jobs and as a single mom I really never had that pleasure. He’s talented and interesting and I love his unusual perspectives on life.
Hostess-with-the-Mostess! If you could pick any four people to invite for dinner, who would it be and why?
Truman Capote (I love his distinctive voice), Jackie Kennedy (she was a childhood idol, beautiful and mysterious), Malcolm X (I just want to meet someone with all that passion and drive), and Charlize Theron (what lesbian wouldn’t?).
Lost! If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want with you (other than food and water)?
A bible, because it’s big, and can be read over and over. Suntan lotion, because I’m allergic to sun. It gives me a rash! And my pillow, because I can’t sleep without it.
You’ve just won the lottery. What’s the first thing you’d do with your winnings?
Get a financial advisor and figure out a way set up a fund to create housing for the hidden homeless in our community.
Favorite part of a wedding?
Seeing same sex couples saying “I do!”
What was your last New Year’s Resolution and how long did it last?
To continue to lose weight, which I am still doing, this past year with the help of local experts I have lost over 75 lbs.
What was your best job ever?
Facilitating group therapy because I learned so much from others. It’s so easy to see sides of yourself and others in a group. No place to hide!
One favorite food? One food you’d never eat?
Food is my favorite food however I would never eat Urchin!
What are you most thankful for?
I’m thankful for friends that have never let me down and been there for me, even when I can’t stand myself!
We’re extremely grateful for the professional, compassionate and valuable service you provide here for us at CAMP Rehoboth, Janet. You continue to make an important impact on the lives of so many. Our sincere thanks!
Know someone whose efforts should be considered for the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Spotlight? Email your suggestion.