I see farther it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants - Sir Isaac Newton
This quotation by Sir Isaac Newton was one of Robin Weber's favorite quotations.
Sadly, we lost Robin Weber, an adored member and past president of the Dermatology Nurses' Association (DNA), on November 1, 2008, after a valiant struggle with cancer. I had the privilege of meeting Robin at the very first national DNA meeting I attended in 1999. She not only welcomed me, but she also urged me to become involved in this great association. At the time, she was a nurse practitioner in Portland, Oregon, at its veteran's hospital. She would soon be on the DNA board of directors (BOD) and later assume the presidency in 2004-2005. She was also very interested in nursing in the United States and internationally. This led her to join the British Dermatology Nursing Group. She traveled to the United Kingdom several times to attend and present at the British Dermatology Nursing Group. She also inspired many other members of the DNA to become involved in international dermatology nursing. We all benefited from Robin's inquiring mind. She encouraged the BOD and membership to be analytical and scientific in their approach to nursing care for dermatology patients. As a member of the BOD, her creativity and fun are well remembered. It was serious business, but Robin approached it with a smile and often a joke! She also created a comfortable atmosphere wherever she was. New and seasoned friends remember her warmth and her engaging personality.
Robin put her ideas to action! "What Should the DNA Strive to Become?" was the title of her President's message in 2004. Robin urged the leadership and membership of the DNA to take charge of their organization. She helped the DNA move forward in our journey that has led us to the fabulous place we are today! Her message-to take charge-has led us to own our own professional journal (Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association)! How fitting that her legacy will remind us that we as members have taken charge of our organization!
Robin had a gift for teaching complex subjects using humor and various education methods. Many of us learned how to be more effective teachers from her example. "Her immunology lectures made what could have been a dull topic interesting and easy to understand," one DNA member recalls. Robin broadened her audience further when she made a career change in 2004, working as a medical science liaison at Genentec where her love of immunology and teaching were well utilized.
For this dedication, we have gathered thoughts from a variety of DNA members. Some of the responses include the following:
Robin's persona was very peaceful. She put people at ease and inspired them to do great things.
She always had so much enthusiasm and was very creative. She contributed so much to the DNA and encouraged many of us to become more involved. As an exemplary leader and innovator, she helped set the stage for the DNA to achieve great things.
Robin loved to dance! And she could dance, too!! Opening receptions will not be the same without our Robin!
She was a truly talented, brilliant contributor to the dermatology profession.
Whenever I remember Robin I smile-her wonderful sense of humor stays with you forever. Who else but Robin would become enamored over a large "twine ball" of string-I don't remember where she was all I remember is her wonderful story about a small insignificant place with a huge twine ball? Who else could tell story and make it funny about a big ball of string ??
She really loved the DNA. Her death is a great loss to DNA as well as humanity.
I have personally looked at Robin as a professional role model and a friend.
Robin supported my efforts in starting the DNC review course and agreed to be one of the first speakers for the general dermatology portion of the course. I enjoyed listening to her teach and was in awe on how she engaged individuals to challenge themselves.
She was doing what we all try to do-making the world richer and giving love in all she did. She had it figured out-how to be a great person. She was awesome!
Being in the VA dermatology clinic which she loved so much, is a daily reminder to me of her profound love and commitment to the field of dermatology and the nurses who work in it.
"We all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us." Thank you, Robin. We will miss you. Your legacy to your DNA is being maintained.
Robin's thoughtful leadership challenged our association to journey toward our ultimate goals. She exemplified someone living a life of purpose. Her leadership of the DNA initiated a new direction for the association. May we all elevate ourselves, the people around us, and our association by learning from the accomplishments of this unforgettable woman!