New Rotary president knows all about service

DOWNEY - As a nurse for 25 years, and working with kids first as a camp volunteer early on and for seven years now as a development and admissions administrator and school nurse at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Diane DiMarco Davis, whose ancestors hail from Sicily and Ireland, has acquired a firm grasp of the idea of service."From the nursing viewpoint," she says, "it's about helping the person who is experiencing pain deal with the particular situation and otherwise assist in the healing process. Educating the patient and the patient's family on the steps needed to cope with the situation is part of it. It is important to remember that caring doesn't end when a patient leaves the hospital and not to lose sight of the dignity of the patient. Medicine, on the other hand, is about curing the patient." Her involvement from 1984 to 2006 as camp director and RN from 1986 to 1999 at Camp (Ronald McDonald) Good Times for children with cancer ("in the mountains near the Palm Springs area"), as an activities volunteer as well as RN at Camp Laurel ("in the local mountains") for children with HIV/AIDS (1994-1995), and later as a Girl Scout leader (2003-2006) are also concrete manifestations, she says, of her living the service concept. After graduation from USC in 1986 with a BS in nursing degree, Davis worked initially at Downey Regional Medical Center as an ER nurse (1986-1996), then served in the same capacity and as a supervisor at various periods at each of these three hospitals --Saint Francis Medical Center, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights -- while keeping her working options with DRMC open. After her return to DRMC fulltime, Davis is out of the emergency room now and currently works as radiology department nurse and PICC (line catheters) RN. Thus, she says that serving as Downey Rotary president "will be but a natural extension of what I've been doing all along, both as a nurse and as a volunteer, giving back to the community." Davis conducted her very first meeting as Rotary president on Tuesday. She succeeded financier Ingrid Martin. Davis has an interesting pedigree. Her journalism graduate father, Tony, now retired, was a TV writer and wrote scripts for such shows as "Happy Days," "Laverne and Shirley," "Love Boat," and "Wonder Woman." He still resides in Silver Lake, where Davis was born and raised (she attended Catholic schools from grade 1-12). Her mother was a textile artist. Former Downey fire chief and city manager Don Davis and a past president of the Downey Rotary himself, is her father-in-law. Her husband, John, is currently serving as a fire captain for the L.A. County Fire Department. A fondness for travel (Europe, Mexico, Hawaii, New York City, Washington, D.C., etc.) once took the family to Scotland, where Don the father and John the son found the St. Andrews course irresistible and played a round. "The place is very nice. I had a wonderful time there," Davis said. "My visits to New York ("at one of our wedding anniversaries") and Washington, D.C., turned out to be very, very nice, too." "I've always enjoyed volunteering," she continued. "And I enjoy my work as a nurse. Now, I look forward to my deeper involvement with Rotary affairs with its spirit of service. Each area of activity feeds on the other. It's going to be fun." "I must say I've gotten used to serving in a leadership role. What's wonderful about this added bit of responsibility with the Rotary is that it gives me a chance to model to our OLPH students what we faculty and staff try to impart to them-that it's not enough to learn the 3 R's, but it is equally important, if not more, especially later, to develop a consciousness of service, of giving back, to the community, and encourage them to take positions of leadership." In addition to developing and maintaining good and positive relations with OLPH alumni, Davis says, "We continue to cheer their successes with the hope, quite frankly, that they'll be generous with their donations." OLPH educates an average of 300 pupils a year. Davis likes to follow politics, learn what's going on in the world. As may be surmised from her upbringing and background, she's a conservative and finds no fault with the Tea Party or Sarah Palin ("I find her interesting."). Davis says it was DRMC head of nursing Heather Conwell, erstwhile Rotary secretary (together with Patricia Megallon) who hired her. She takes pride in pointing out that her 18-year old daughter, Elisabeth, who plans to attend Cerritos College before matriculating later at the University of Dayton to pursue a psychology degree, and her 15-year old son, Sean, who is a sophomore at Loyola High School in L.A., are both products of OLPH. (Sean has mentioned he wants to join the Rotary as well someday). Former Downey residents, the Davis family now calls La Mirada home.

********** Published: July 7, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 12