Hyacinth Hamilton-Gayle was born in Jamaica and reveals, “My field in nursing chose me.”
Already trained as a teacher, she joined her parents in New York and Brooklyn Jewish School of Nursing responded to her application. “With encouragement from my mother, I started school. After my first year, I knew that I had found my passion.”
Now, with a Master of Science in Nursing and as a pediatric nurse practitioner with 35 years in the health field — starting as a neonatal critical care nurse — Ms. Hamilton-Gayle is director of Patient Care Services at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.
She is responsible for behavioral health — psychiatry and chemical dependency and maternal child health services — and works with a senior leadership team.
Ms. Hamilton-Gayle acknowledges phenomenal nurses who mentored her as a novice. One particular nurse educator held for her high expectations — that she was capable of achieving more. “It helped to develop my confidence; I did not want to let her down,” she says.
She also always took the heaviest assignments from a head nurse or supervisor. “I found that I could be relied upon to provide excellent care to the sickest patients.”
Ms. Hamilton-Gayle reflects, “As I look back to the early days, I am humbled by my innate abilities to provide a healing touch, to show that I can help someone at a time when they are vulnerable and may not be able to help themselves.”
At this point she says, ‘I am a change agent, a mentor, support, facilitator, touchstone and sometimes a shoulder to cry on.”
Additionally, Ms. Hamilton-Gayle helps organize community health fairs and over the years has worked at the High School for Pregnant Teens. She also maintains close ties with her Jamaican roots.