Kernell to be honored with Women in Business Award

Release Date: March 27, 2008

Note: This is the second in a series of three stories about women to be honored at the Women in Business Awards banquet hosted by the Wayland SIFE group on April 8.

PLAINVIEW – Nancy Kernell, co-owner of Area Community Hospice, will be one of three recipients of the Women in Business Awards presented by the Wayland Baptist University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team. The awards will be presented in a banquet scheduled for April 8 in the McClung University Center.

Raised in Plainview, Kernell is one of seven children. She graduated from Plainview High School in 1988 and earned her associate’s degree in nursing from Amarillo College in 1996.

Kernell is a certified hospice and palliative nurse and worked for hospice agencies for eight years, discovering a passion for the unique work situations hospice care provides. While contemplating opening her own agency, she experienced the illness and subsequent death of her grandmother, Ulvadina Gaitan, with lung cancer.

“My grandmother, who had always been a spiritual leader in my life and a strong independent woman, was now going through what I had seen so many other patients experience. This time I was the granddaughter and the nurse,” she recalled. “It was at my grandmother’s death bed that I knew that this is what God wanted me to do. Now I could relate to patients and their families because I know the hurt that goes with losing someone special.”

With that experience, Kernell set out to open her own hospice agency, partnering with fellow registered nurse Becky Steffens to form Area Community Hospice, Inc. in May 2004 and has been pleased with the response.

“Plainview has been very supportive of having a locally owned hospice, and I am honored to be able to take care of our friends and neighbors,” she said.

In addition, Kernell is an approved educator for the Hospice and Palliative Nurse’s Association and an approved trainer for the End of Life Nursing Education Curriculum. She also founded the Area Community Hospice Foundation.

Kernell and husband Kenny have a son, Kyle, a senior at Texas A&M. She also has a step-son and daughter-in-law, Corey and Angie Kernell, and a granddaughter, Brooke. She is a member of Plainview Lions Club and College Heights Baptist Church and enjoys spoiling her brother’s 18-month-old triplets.

Tickets to the 6:30 p.m. Women in Business banquet are $20 and are available by calling the Division of Business at 291-1020 or 291-1029 by April 1. Other 2008 honorees include Carolyn Baker and Mary Anna Self.