When DeLois Weekes
arrived at Cox College of Nursing and Health Science
in 2001, her
charge from CoxHealth administrators and community leaders was daunting: Build a college, not a department.She
understood the immediacy: The country didn't have enough nurses and related health care workers, and the shortage would only get worse.
...That's how Weekes, as president and CEO of the college, helped bring the small college into the big leagues , with big enrollment, continued accreditation and a big national reputation.
Wright said Weekes
brought "a transformation" to the college , attracting doctorate degree-level staff, adding cultural and ethnic diversity among faculty and students, and a broader curriculum.
"Then you can't let go of your dream," Weekes
said, and told her
own sacrifices to stay in school, including leaving a house for a small apartment with her
family.It gave the student options, and hope, she
said.Weekes is a registered nurse with a doctorate degree in nursing science.As an RN for more than 30 years, she has worked as a staff nurse in hospitals and community health centers, and she has been a nurse educator at colleges and universities.She has also been an administrator in schools of nursing and colleges of health.
Weekes lives in Springfield with her
husband, Abraham.They have two grown daughters.
In the five academic years she's
presided over Cox College
Making no apologies, Weekes
envisions more change: She
would like the CoxHealth School of Radiation Therapy
and School of Medical Technology on the Cox South campus to become part of Cox College
for cost-effectiveness and to allow students to train with and learn from each other.And she
looks to adding more programs in other health care fields.
...DeLois Weekes,president and CEO of Cox College of Nursing and Health Science, talks with nursing students Kate Prentice (second from left), Juliette Kish and Andrea Smith (right) at a reception.