Dr. Hailey Nelson Receives National Recognition at Dr. America Competition

Dr. Hailey Nelson Receives National Recognition at Dr. America Competition

(Madera, Calif.) – Valley Children’s complex care pediatrician and pediatric residency program core faculty member Dr. Hailey Nelson was named first runner-up in the Dr. America pageant, held virtually on Sept. 17. The competition recognizes the professional achievements of American women who hold a PhD degree or higher.

“I found out about Dr. America in March, and not having previous experience with pageants, I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into, but thought it was a unique opportunity and platform to elevate what Valley Children’s is doing with injury prevention messaging,” Dr. Nelson said. “I never expected when I entered how much personal and professional growth would come out of this.”

During the competition, entrants were judged on a variety of areas, including interviewing skills, an area which Dr. Nelson was excited to learn and prepare for, not just for the competition, but to benefit her role as a pediatrician, too.

“It was like cross-training! Pageant competitors have interviewing down to a science, and preparing those skills have helped make me a better communicator and a better doctor,” Dr. Nelson said. “I believe that if I can perfect my communication skills, I can help more children and families.”

In addition to being recognized as first runner-up, Dr. Nelson also received recognition as Educator of the Year, Best in Interview American Division, Career Achievement Award – Resume and Most Photogenic, American Division.

“Dr. Nelson’s enthusiasm for pretty much everything she does – especially things involving the health and well-being of children – is effervescent,” said Dr. James Horspool, medical director of the Charlie Mitchell Children’s Center for complex primary care. “It bubbles over onto all the rest of us and makes us want to do better and be better. All of us who have been touched by her enthusiasm and expertise are better for it.”

Dr. Nelson currently holds the title of Dr. California America and uses the special designation and platform to champion for children’s health and wellness. By winning first runner-up at Dr. America, Dr. Nelson has reclaimed the Dr. California title for another year. Not only will this provide her another shot at the Dr. America crown in 2022, but it allows her another year with a broad and unique platform to educate and advocate. One of her primary education vehicles is her regular appearances on Safe Kids Central California’s lunch and learn Facebook Lives series, which focuses on important safety and injury prevention topics.

“I’m excited to continue my work as Dr. California and refine and revamp our lunch and learn series on Facebook,” Dr. Nelson said. “This year, I hope to team up with more partners, ramp up our production capabilities and, ultimately, expand the reach of our safety messages.”

Reflecting on the Dr. America pageant, Dr. Nelson sums up her experience in one word: “Inspiring.”

“Going into it, there’s a certain perception about pageants, and personally, I had no idea how much community service and work goes into it,” Dr. Nelson said. “These women are amazing. They lift each other up. These are the people who want to make the world a better place.”

And to that end, Dr. Nelson is in perfect company: “I’m going to change the world one pink rhinestone at a time.”

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