It is with great sadness that we inform you that Brenda Dockery, director of community wellness and patient education at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, died on April 22, 2015, after losing her battle with a rare and extremely aggressive cancer.
Her death is a tremendous loss to not only her family but also to Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare as well as the nursing profession, the Milwaukee community, and her church and other organizations she was involved with.
Brenda had a significant impact on the community through her work as a nurse, nurse practitioner, and leader. She was a founding member and past president of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Black Nurses Association and continued to be an active member after 35 years. The national organization named her Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year in 2004. She was also active in the community and had served on the YWCA Phillips Center, Day Care Services for Children Board, and the UWM Alumni Board. Additionally, she volunteered as a nurse at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and with Nurses Affecting Change doing breast exams in the community on a weekly basis.
Brenda first started with the Wheaton organization in 2000 serving as a nurse practitioner at St. Michael Hospital and has worked in a variety of roles since then with Wheaton including NP at the Angel of Hope Clinic. Over her career, she also worked as a nurse and NP in several other hospitals and community health clinics. She was dedicated to continual professional growth and was participating in Wheaton’s Nursing Ministry Leadership Development Program. In her application to the program, Brenda wrote, “I am passionate about giving back, being visible, and providing culturally appropriate and competent health care services to all. I believe in meeting individuals where they are at in a welcoming environment and engaging and supporting their efforts to be proactive with their own health care.” Brenda often shared how important her work was to her.
In addition to her own development, Brenda was committed to supporting others and served as a preceptor for NP students from UW-Oshkosh, UW-Milwaukee, and Marquette School of Nursing. She also accompanied Concordia University NP students on mission trips for the past seven years.
Please keep Brenda’s family in your prayers as they grieve her loss. Brenda touched so many lives, and we are invited by her family to share any memories or things that you would like them to know about her by e-mailing [email protected].
Many of us will remember Brenda as a passionate and extremely caring individual who often shared hugs with people throughout the organization. She will be greatly missed.