“MO-Tivation Nation” nurse eager to return to HFC airwaves
Imana “Mo” Minard wears many hats. She’s a nurse, an adjunct instructor, and a DJ. Previously, she was a paramedic.
“Although my primary job responsibilities are as a nurse, I always manage to end up involved in something else,” said Minard, laughing. “I never say no. Today, I might be on a panel discussing cultural diversity and inclusion. Tomorrow, I might be talking to a patient’s family. Next week, I might be explaining about our community’s needs, or I might be appearing in a video for our Clinical Language Services. It is truly endless.”
She is also a DJ for WHFR-FM, HFC’s official independently owned and operated radio station, hosting the show MO-Tivation Nation, which normally airs every Monday from 10:00 p.m. to midnight. She has been doing this for more than a year. However, her show has been put on hiatus due to the pandemic.
“As soon as the College says we may return, I am front and center!” said Minard, who lives in Van Buren Township with Charles Minard, Jr. – her husband of 18 years – and their two children, ages 15 and 13.
From EMT to nursing
A native of Detroit, Minard graduated from David L. Mackenzie High School. She attended Ferris State University, originally aspiring to a career in law and majoring in criminal justice. She soon realized that wasn’t the right career path for her, so she pivoted and became a paramedic.
“I decided I had no interest in law enforcement or the corrections system. Paramedic school came right on time,” she said. “My father’s good friend was an EMT specialist with the Detroit Fire Department (DFD), and he loved working for Emergency Medical Services. At the time, my employer paid for any educational advancement with tuition assistance. I enrolled in an EMT course right after my manager completed his. I liked it so much, I decided to go through the entire Paramedic Program.”
Minard took her emergency medical technician (EMT) and paramedic courses at what is now Dorsey Emergency Medical Academy (formerly Superior Medical Education) in Madison Heights. After two years, she earned a certificate of completion. She then earned her EMT license through the State of Michigan, which is a requirement to practice as an EMU.
Minard was a paramedic in Detroit from 1999 to 2010. She met her husband – who’s now a lieutenant in the Dearborn Fire Department EMS Division – on the job. As much as she enjoyed being a paramedic, she realized the physical aspects of the job – carrying patients and strenuous lifting – would eventually take a toll on her.
It was then a fellow paramedic told her about a paramedic-to-RN distance learning bridge program at Excelsior College in Albany, NY.
“You had to be either a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or paramedic with a number of hours of documented clinical experience,” said Minard. “I thought it was too good to be true. A few other paramedics and I investigated this and completed the program together.”
Director of Nursing at Beaumont
Minard earned her associate degree in nursing, her bachelor’s degree in nursing, and her master’s degree in nursing education – all from Excelsior. She is certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) through the American Organization of Nursing Leadership (AONL).
Minard has now been a nurse for 12 years. She spent her first 10 years at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), going through two mergers. For the last two years, she has been in her current position at Beaumont.
“I started as a staff nurse in the Emergency Department at Harper University Hospital. I continued to grow in my nursing career as a clinical coordinator, nurse manager, and then administrative director. When I left DMC, I had responsibility for the Emergency Services and Observation Units at Harper and Detroit Receiving Hospital on the Adult Central Campus,” said Minard. “At Beaumont, I have responsibility for the Emergency Center, Nursing Resource Pool, and Vascular Access Team. I also serve as our site ambassador for our Patient/Family-Centered Care Program.”
Navigating the pandemic
Since the onset of the current global pandemic, Minard has become the unofficial liaison between families and patients because many families are unable to see their loved ones in the hospital.
“This happened out of necessity as we could not have any visitors in the hospital during the first surge. I think the paramedic in me immediately came back to the fore and asked, ‘Who will talk to the families?’ I am proud to say that I and the redeployed nurses called the families and talked to them personally. Now, we will be able to move forward with this role from some grant funding,” she explained.
Minard says the pandemic hasn’t altered the way she practices nursing in any specific way, but healthcare continues to grow and change.
“It is another simple reminder of gratitude. Always be thankful,” she said. “Healthcare is an evolution. Change will not stop. We must embrace change, as it is here to stay.”
A mutual friend introduced Minard to Marjon Parham, who hosted her own radio show at WHFR.
“We clicked immediately. A great friendship developed, and I have learned so much about the radio business from her,” said Minard, who has been a DJ since 2017.
Parham gave Minard HFC Chairperson of the Department of Communication and Media/WHFR General Manager Susan McGraw’s contact information.
“At the time I called Susan, the classes were not in session. Susan promised she would remember me, and she did,” said Minard. “She called me to let me know when the course necessary to participate would be starting. I signed up immediately.”
Minard completed the WHFR Staff Training class at HFC, which provided the first step in allowing her to DJ on the radio station. On MO-Tivation Nation, Minard plays music that uplifts, inspires, and encourages her audience. She also conducts interviews with local business owners or anyone who has an uplifting story. She’s served as a substitute DJ on other WHFR radio shows.
“My favorite part is the interviews. I am a people magnet, and I enjoy hearing other people’s stories,” said Minard. “All of my guests are notable. This is one of the reasons I love WHFR. We focus on the independent artists and names you may have never heard of. I consider every guest a high-profile personality and treat them as such. There's a Detroit music producer named Big He (Phil Hernandez El). I booked him during our Radiothon, not realizing it was that time of year. He stayed the entire show and helped me read scripts for donations. He did so well, I thought he worked with us at WHFR!”
Minard added with a laugh: “I often say, ‘Please don’t make me choose between radio and nursing.’”
“DJ Mo is a positive and passionate member of our WHFR team,” said McGraw. “She puts her heart into her radio show and genuinely cares about each and every listener she reaches. Mo is a joy to have on our airwaves.”
Tune in to WHFR FM radio to listen to current programming. You may also listen online. The station is playing classical music while it awaits a safe return to its on-campus presence.