Kira Sienes Corona, a member and ministry volunteer of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, is a registered nurse. From deep in the heart of one Texan, she shares her background and thoughts on being a follower of Christ in health care. To suggest a Texas Baptist leader in health care to be featured in this column, or to apply to be featured yourself, click here.
Where did you grow up?
Part of my childhood was in Aurora, Colo., before moving to McAllen, where I did most of my formal education.
How did you come to faith in Christ?
For as long as I can remember, both of my parents taught me about Jesus. My grandmother, who is a pastor’s wife, was strongly influential in my introduction to knowing who God is. I eventually accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior when I was 9 years old. It was at a Vacation Bible School I was invited to attend at a Baptist church close to my house.
Where were you educated, and what degrees did you receive?
I attended South Texas High School for Health Professions in Mercedes and the University of Texas-Pan American (now University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley) in Edinburg, where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
About life in health care
Why do you feel called into health care?
Health care is a field that always felt at home to me, because I grew up in a family of doctors and nurses. From the time I was a little girl, I always felt going into health care was a natural decision and was a calling.
How does being a Christian influence your decisions in health care?
It definitely brings things about life into perspective. It influences the way I treat patients and their families. It influences the way I behave when unfair things are being thrown at nurses and staff by upper management.
Being a Christian always keeps me aware I am between the physical and spiritual world, especially when I am with a patient about to pass away. Because of those kinds of circumstances, I try to be intentional about displaying the love of Christ to every patient I cared for.
What is your favorite aspect of health care? Why?
There is always something changing, always something challenging. We never stop learning, because science and medicine always are discovering new methods to treat our patients. There is a lot of critical thinking, and I like that challenge.
What one aspect of health care would you like to change?
The combination of business, legal issues and health care can get really messy sometimes. I wish some of our top executives running hospitals could see for themselves the heart of the hospital—the actual patient care—so they can understand how to administrate things from the top. That way, we can improve actual patient care and clinical safety measures and be more strategic about where money is spent.
What is the impact of health care on your family?
Health care has a huge impact on our family. It is the way of life for most of us. My husband, parents and brother-in-law are nurses. My sister-in-law is a pediatrician. My brother is a combat medic in the U.S. Army National Guard. Other family members are nurses, doctors and physician assistants.
Because of our faith in God, our love for science and our desire to serve the most vulnerable, many of us have been led to this calling of health care.
What do you wish more people knew about health care?
Most of us do not consider ourselves to be heroes, nor do we expect to be called heroes, though we are humbled by the recognition.
A good health care professional will go beyond to meet the care and treatment of the physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually sick. But at the end of the day, we wish for our communities to be compliant with taking care of themselves.
Our goal is to do away with re-hospitalization for the majority of patients. How can our communities do this? By actually being compliant with the recommended plan of care they are given at discharge. Following through with their recommended treatment plan from their physicians not only helps themselves in the long run, but helps their families as well.
Why are you Baptist?
I believe, first and foremost, the gospel of Christ needs to be shared with all people as Jesus commanded us. In all Baptist churches I have attended, they have had solid, sound teaching from the Bible, which is essential to me.
Who were/are your mentors, and how did/do they influence you?
My mentors were my mother and father because their foundation of teaching when I was a child was based on God’s word.
Also, my grandmother, because she was the one who taught me how to read and study Scripture.
And lastly, Pastor Marcus Rodriguez and his wife Hannah Rodriguez, because not only did they teach me how to apply the word of God in my single life, married life and family life, they literally lived life with my husband and me, whether it was helping us with our kids or having dinner with us.
What is your favorite Bible verse or passage? Why?
For this past year especially, my favorite passage has been Galatians 5:13-26—living life by the Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit.
It seems simple to live out the fruits of the Spirit, but it truly is challenging to apply them authentically to our lives. For me, every day is a step away from the old me. The fruits of the Spirit are indicative of the progressive transformation of the new me.