Nurse Devotes Her Life To Others

  1. Nurse Devotes Her Life To Others
    Renee Milligan -- Linowes Leadership Award Winner

    POSTED: 3:18 p.m. EDT June 4, 2004
    UPDATED: 6:54 p.m. EDT June 4, 2004

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Mother Teresa once said, "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." Nowhere is that philosophy more evident than in Renee Milligan.

    She's a nurse, professor and coach who is being honored this year with the Linowes Leadership Award for devoting herself to helping low-income women make what she calls gutsy transitions.

    Milligan spends most of her days at the pregnancy aid center in College Park, helping low-income women and unmarried teenage girls deliver healthy babies.

    Then she spends most of her nights coaching children in softball or soccer and presiding over the College Park Boys and Girls Club.

    In between, she teaches statistics at Georgetown University and conducts two studies on infant mortality and breast-feeding at the National Institutes of Health and John Hopkins.

    And that's just an average week.

    "I think I do what I do because it's fun and I work with these great people," Milligan said. "The reason it's fun is that it's real stuff. People are struggling with real things."

    She says it's what keeps her heart beating, especially her work at the clinic.

    There, she meets too many young girls who are pregnant and have broken spirits. Many times, they are dealing with other struggles in life, like a runaway who is serving time in jail and comes to the clinic in chains.

    Milligan's philosophy is to grab hold of girls in those cases and don't let them slip away.

    You just walk elbow-to-elbow with these kids.

    She has steered them through high school and guided them into adulthood.

    She eventually wants to steer herself into hospice care so she can grab onto people at the end of life and help them let go.

    "That's what I like -- to be there at the gutsy transitions," Milligan said.

    For her efforts, Milligan will be awarded with the Linowes Leadership Award Tuesday at the NBC4 studios
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