Category Archives: Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now?: Words of Appreciation from Nicole Hinzie, RN

Nicole Hinzie, RN

“I have been working at Children’s-Minneapolis for slightly over a year. When I was younger, I spent several years as a Children’s Hospital volunteer. As a nurse now at the hospital, I am very thankful for the volunteers that we have here. When I see red vests walking down the hallway, I am always excited to help find them something to do. The volunteers are always happy, smiling, and a breath of fresh air. I have worked with several wonderful volunteers over the past year, so it would be impossible to recognize one single volunteer. Thank you for playing with the kiddos, running errands, holding crying babies, offering hugs and support, asking questions, and being available. It is wonderful to have you available as an additional support to our team, and the kids and their families always appreciate it. It is always a wonderful feeling to know that our patients are happier because of our volunteers. Words cannot convey our gratitude for your tremendous contribution.  Thank you so much for all of your hard work and all that you do. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with you.”

-Nicole Hinzie, RN, 6th Floor

Thank YOU, Nicole, for the time that you’ve shared with Children’s–both paid and unpaid!

Where Are They Now?: Japs Lee, M.D.

Japs Lee Japs Lee

A vast majority of our student volunteers come to Children’s to gain experience for future health care careers.  Japs Lee is one such volunteer; she was an active participant in our program from 1997-2004.  

Japs was kind enough to take the time to write the following summary of her experiences here at Children’s and beyond:

“I am a second-generation Hmong female who grew up practicing animism and traditional Hmong folk medicine. Because of this, I grew up experiencing barriers to both western and Hmong medical practices, which was the foundation to why I wanted to become a physician.

As the typical pre-med student, I studied hard, received good grades, and was involved in research and extracurricular activities. I then applied to US medical schools (two different years) and did not get in. At that time, I thought that my chance of becoming a physician was over, and I was uncertain of what I would do. Should I apply a third time? What if I got denied again? Should I just find a job?

Acting upon several different pieces of advice, I looked into foreign medical schools and decided to go to Ross University in Dominica (an island in the Caribbean). This was an underserved country where there were only 2 hospitals and few medical technologies; the majority of healthcare was provided by medical students. It was a fantastic experience that brought on challenges, as physical exams and listening to patient’s stories were important in making diagnoses since technology was limited. After medical school, I returned to the United States where I finished my clerkships in WI.

I am currently completing my residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI, after which I will go into primary care in Monroe, WI. My journey to become a physician had some unexpected turns; however, it has helped me develop experiences to become a well-rounded physician. Without continued persistence and support from my friends, my family, and Children’s Hospital, my dreams would not have been possible.”

Thank you, Japs, for your graciousness & willingness to share your pre-medical experiences with our current volunteer team!  We wish you the best in your career as a doctor!