Janet (Neighbour) Ashby

Honored by:Harry Ashby, David Ashby, Todd Ashby, and Kerry L. Walter-Ashby
Brick location:F:7  map

Janet Ashby, daughter of Frances and David Neighbour, wife of Harry Ashby, and mother of David and Todd Ashby is being placed in the Plaza of Heroines for her dedication to her family and her profession.

In striking that balance between her professional and family life, Janet has excelled in her career while always being there for her family. Janet Ashby was born to Frances and David Neighbour on September 19, 1939 in Albia, Iowa where she lived until she was 3 years old. Janet's family then moved to a small farm outside of Chariton, Iowa. Upon graduating from Chariton High School, Janet accepted an America Cancer Society nursing scholarship to attend the Iowa Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in Des Moines, Iowa.

Upon her graduation in 1960, Janet worked in various staff nursing positions in both Des Moines and Ottumwa hospitals. On Christmas Eve of 1963, her first son, David, was born. At this time, Janet was an operating room instructor for the Iowa Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing. By 1966, Janet had become the Inservice Coordinator operating Room for Iowa Lutheran Hospital. In October of 1968, her second son, Todd, was born.

In the fall of 1969 Janet became an instructor in the Surgical Technologist Education program at the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa. In this position, Janet provided didactic and clinical instruction for surgical technologist students. Janet held that position until 1981 whereupon she became the Educator Surgical Services for Iowa Lutheran Hospital.

As part of her duties, Janet was Nursing Educator Representative and a participant in a demonstration project for Iowa Lutheran Hospital that was funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and sponsored by the Midwest Alliance in Nursing in 1983. In this project, nursing service and nursing education representatives from five Midwestern states worked collaboratively to develop competency-based job descriptions and performance appraisals curricula and orientation programs for associate and baccalaureate prepared nurses. It was during this time while working full-time that Janet pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in the Health Arts. In 1987 she received her degree from the College of St. Francis with a 4-point grade average.

In her ongoing pursuit of her career goals of continuing education, Janet entered the Masters in Adult Education program at Drake University in 1994. Janet also has become a speaker at workshops and conferences at both the regional and national level. Topics have ranged from Perioperative Competency-based Orientation presented at the 1994 AORN Congress in New Orleans, LA, to Preparing Preceptors presented at the 1995 AORN Congress in Atlanta, GA. Currently, Janet continues to speak at various workshops and conferences and has become involved in a medical exchange project.

In June of 1994 Janet traveled to Stavrpool, Russia as a member of the Iowa Delegation of the Iowa-Stavrpool Russia Medical Exchange sponsored by the Iowa Hospital Association in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development. In Russia, Janet taught classes to Russian hospital staff with the goal of establishing model operation rooms. The initial focus for her classes was to educate perioperative staff regarding operating room practices, particularly the introduction of the role of the circulation nurse. Janet returned to Stavrpool in March of 1995 to continue the education efforts that had taken place and to assess the impact of previous medical exchanges.

Mom, you and Dad have always been there when we needed your help; providing us with wonderful role models, showing us what it meant to be caring human beings. Both of you taught us how to care, how to love, and how to laugh at ourselves...you taught us well!

With much love,
Harry, Dave, Todd, Kerry