As a member of the board of directors of the Oklahoma Nurses Association, American Nurses Association and National Student Nurses Association, Denton was able to use her extensive contacts and relationships to organize, outreach and garner support.
Medical professional Devyn Denton has a heart for service.
The heartbeat of her passionate care can be felt in the pulse of her unwavering dedication to helping people in need; going above and beyond “the call” by inspiring and paving the way for others to do the same.
For Denton, responding at a moment’s notice to manmade and natural disasters is more than the right choice, it’s the only choice. Born in Oklahoma City and raised in the countryside, Denton developed a love for healing and medicine at an early age. An academically gifted child, Denton excelled through grade school at a rapid pace, testing beyond her age and putting herself on track to graduate several years early. She acquired her GED at the age of 13 before embarking on her journey to a nurse practitioner school. While applying to various colleges and universities, Denton became a state capitol page. A position she held for the next six years. She desired to better understand the role of government, legislation, policy creation and implementation, lobbying and campaigning. For Denton, learning the system under which communities are governed was a vital component in her aspirations to effect change at the legislative level.
Community service is more than a personal mission; to Denton, it’s an integral attribute of her family lineage. As the 7thgeneration of African-American, Caucasian, Mexican and native Choctaw descent, she comes from a long line of civic leaders with a rich history of good will and service to others. She served as a National Junior representative for The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), a national, nonprofit organization focused on substantially increasing the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations and other indigenous peoples of in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers.
Still only a teenager, as page, Denton performed various duties working closely with political leaders and participated in several local and state elections, including a presidential campaign. Denton caught the eye of Leila Foley, the first African-American woman to be elected mayor in the U.S. Foley would become a close mentor to Denton, taking Denton under her wing and furthering the development of her career and service oriented endeavors. This invaluable early life experience at the capitol are one of the things that led Denton to create Nyved Consulting LLC, a multifaceted consulting and coaching firm designed to motivate current nurses to identify challenges and solutions to existing healthcare inequities as well as encourage more people to enter the medical field as additional representatives of positive reinforcements in their communities.
“I started Nyved Consulting not only as a tool for motivation but as a real tool for education and change. We’re teaching people who may not be politically savvy how to launch and run a campaign, efficiently lobby and elicit real change on a societal level through policy education and legislation reform. We’re teaching women especially how to become effective communicators who are in full control of their lives, outcomes and destinations.”
Her comprehensive approach encourages citizens to participate in shared governance, provides health coaching, disaster preparedness, trauma recovery management, grant writing and biomedical research.
At 14, Denton enrolled in a private Christian college. By 1998, she donned several hats in the medical field including serving as a volunteer firefighter, EMT and Patient Care Tech; earning several crisis certifications while responding to community disasters. In 2009 Denton graduated from Bacone College as a Registered Nurse however, she had immediately began meeting the needs of underserved populations in her hometown of Taft and surrounding communities years earlier, opening the small town’s first flu clinic.
As a Registered Nurse, Denton quickly rose through the ranks fulfilling multiple roles including Community Help Specialist, team leader, patient/family advocate and correctional nurse. “It’s important to me to meet the need wherever it is, without judgment or preconceived notions; just meet the need.” Her accomplishments continued to expand alongside her reach in various roles. Denton became the first medical professional in Oklahoma history elected to serve on medical boards at all levels; local, state and national. She effectively served on the National Student Association, Oklahoma Nursing Association and the American Nurses Association Board of Directors.
As a first responder, Denton has seen far more than her fair share of devastation in the wake of traumatic disasters and recovery efforts.In May of 2013, an intense EF5 Tornado touched down in Moore, Oklahoma and surrounding areas with winds peaking over 200 mph, killing 24 people and injuring nearly 400 others. Denton was one of several first responders on the scene providing medical care to survivors and assisting in the rebuild. Some of Denton’s closest friends and co-workers were affected by the tornado making the experience especially personal. She took to social media and immediately put out a call of her own on behalf of the physically and emotionally taxed first responders working around the clock. Five nurses became 40; together they were able to acquire needed equipment, food and resources for nurses and other first responders. Out of this experience Denton’s nonprofit Operation Nurses Helping Nurses Inc. was birthed.
A flagship nonprofit, ONHN Inc.’s mission is to provide a global nurse-to-nurse support system in times of disasters, traumas or crisis by delivering both material and emotional succor. Since its inception, ONHN Inc. has responded to major disaster sites around the nation including providing support to first responders at the Orlando nightclub mass shooting and catastrophic floods in Louisiana. Recently, ONHN Inc. adopted an elementary school with 100% of its students falling below the poverty line. Denton’s nonprofit has publicly committed to providing additional school supplies and providing well-balanced meals for more than 90 students and their families this school year.
“Doing good service and giving of self to others in need is how we pay rent to live on this earth. We have a responsibility to impact the lives of others in a positive way, a meaningful way. We’re losing first responders at a high rate to compassion fatigue. As a first responder, I know firsthand how absolutely crucial yet exhausting this line of work is. This country is experiencing back-to-back manmade and natural disasters. We depend on our first responders; we depend greatly on the people who answer 911 calls. They should be able to depend on us to keep them healthy and ready to respond. We provide specific, tailored help to the people who need it most…the people who help everyone else.”
Operation Nurses Helping Nurses Inc. is always seeking and welcoming support from organizations and individuals willing to assist the nonprofit’s efforts.
Pay it forward. Make a difference. Change the world.
Devyn Denton is the daughter of Dr. Dayle Aldridge and Love Denton. She has two children, Zachary and Kennedy Denton. Devyn enjoys motherhood, working with charities, scuba diving and riding horses. Devyn considers herself a student of life, always learning and ready for the next lesson.
(Picture by Quynh Tang-Tran)