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Director of HIV ServicesParkland Hospital of Dallas
As a child, Sylvia Moreno spent a lot of time accompanying her beloved grandmother Luz, a diabetic, to the doctor. “I became interested in nursing when I saw there weren’t many bilingual staff at the hospital,” she says.
Intent on becoming a nurse, she began the Associate Degree Nursing program at El Centro College but found that weaknesses in math and science pushed her back into developmental classes. “I had to take some classes twice to pass,” she says. But she persevered, earned her associate degree and transferred to University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing while working full-time. “Community college gave me everything I needed to take and succeed in classes for an advanced degree,” she says.
In 1986, she was named director of nursing and HIV services at Parkland Hospital of Dallas, where today she supervises a staff of about 80. “I really have two jobs in one,” she says. “As nursing director, I oversee the department, its budget, personnel, patient issues and performance improvement; as grants manager, I help bring in the more than $5 million annually it takes to fund it.”
Passionately devoted to community service, Sylvia Moreno has chaired several local health organizations, including the AIDS Interfaith Network and the Dallas Council of Hispanic Service Organizations. Each year, she volunteers her skills to Helps International as a member of its Guatemala Medical Relief Team. She also regularly makes presentations on AIDS-related topics to organizations around the globe.