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Nurse Camp Founder a Hometown Hero

Posted: March 14, 2019

Maureen Allain, R.N., a co-founder of NorthBay Nurse Camp, has been selected by Travis Air Force Base as a Hometown Hero and, as one of a number of heroes, will be honored during the 2019 Thunder Over the Bay Air Show March 30-31.

But first, she’ll be treated to a flight in a C-17 Globemaster III military cargo aircraft on a tour of the bay on Monday, March 25.

The four-hour flight over San Francisco Bay will give her a front-row seat to panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Area.

“To be nominated and selected is such an honor,” said Maureen. “I believe in community involvement and the positive impact we can have on the youth of our community. NorthBay has been so supportive of the Nurse Academy and Nurse Camp over the last 15 years. I feel honored to be supported and encouraged by such a great organization.”

Maureen is excited about the opportunity to fly over the Bay Area and is hoping for a clear day so she can appreciate the bird’s eye-view.

“My dad was a SeaBee in the Navy but I did not grow up near a military base, so this will be my first time in a military plane,” she said.

The theme of this year’s air show, which is headlined by a performance of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, is “Honoring our Hometown Heroes.”

NorthBay Healthcare nominated Maureen, who has been an ICU nurse here for 28 of her 38 years in the nursing profession. She teamed up with friend and colleague Mary Hempen, R.N., now retired, to create Nurse Camp, which has inspired hundreds of young people to consider health care careers and specifically nursing as a profession.

The pair also founded the NorthBay Nursing Academy, which sends registered nurses into classrooms and after-school programs at local high schools once a month, sharing speakers, presentations and tools of the trade with interested students.

And the crown jewel — Nurse Camp — has provided hands-on experience for 438 high school students during a four-day intensive deep dive into nursing at NorthBay Medical Center and NorthBay VacaValley Hospitals over a 15-year run.

Of the students who have attended Nurse Camp, 15 have gone on to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing and have become nurses, and a couple even work for NorthBay Healthcare now.

In the meantime, Maureen continues to serve patients in the ICU, and also fills in as an administrative coordinator for the hospitals, directing patient placement and handling issues as they arise.

“How exciting!” said Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Traci Duncan. “Maureen is a salt-of-the-earth nurse — solid, calm, pragmatic, excellent common sense, a source of wisdom for all. We are pleased Travis agreed that she deserved to be honored as one of our Hometown Heroes.”

The air show will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 30 and 31 and admission is free.  

In addition to the headliner event, other performers scheduled include the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team as well as the F-22 Raptor and C-17 Globemaster III demonstration teams. There will be static displays from flying units from around the nation, Travis’ own aircraft and displays from both CalFire and the California Highway Patrol. There will also be a fun zone for children, 10 and under.

Static aircraft on display during the 2017 air show included T-38 Talon, T-41C Mescalero, A-10 Thunderbolt II, B-52 Stratofortress, F-16 Fighting Falcon, KC-135 Stratotanker, C-12 Huron, Cessna C-206, Cessna C-310B, Piper Archer III, C-182 Skyline, MH-60R Seahawk, California Highway Patrol helicopter and the newest F-35 Lightning II.