Meet Harriet Forman
Allow me to introduce myself and to welcome you to my website. I am Harriet Forman. But that wasn’t always my name. I was born to Frances and Herman Schulman in Brooklyn, NY. My older sister Mimi, along with a pup named Peggy and I, grew up in a middle class household enjoying the benefits of books, music, and of all things, Coney Island and the Boardwalk. My house didn’t have an attic to which I could retire and think about my future, but I could easily get to the beach where I spent hours looking at the ocean and dreaming of two things – being a nurse and being a writer. I had always wanted to be both and I switched up and back between the two – it really depended on which book I was reading at the time – Cherry Ames or Little Women. The Cherry Ames nurse series of books written by Helen Wells were both exciting and motivational. I was the kind of kid who liked to fix things, especially all kinds of wounds on pets and children – blood and gore didn’t repel me, they fascinated me. I ran a veritable clinic in my back yard or on the back porch or if it were raining, in the basement. Often I did not know where one limb began and another body part ended so my mother gave me a medical first aid book with transparent overlays to help me learn. She hoped it would motivate me to become a doctor but nursing always took first place. This was reinforced each time I read a Cherry Ames book, especially the ones about being a military nurse. Cherry Ames Army Nurse, Flight Nurse, and Chief Nurse, really enthralled me, as did all the others, and I read and read until I had read through all 20 books, and then I read them again.
At about the same time, I found something else I liked just as well, and that was writing. I had another role model, Jo in Little Women, and I imagined herself both a nurse and a writer all through high school during which I focused on preparing to enter a school of nursing. And that’s exactly what I did.
While raising a family – a son and two daughters – remarrying and caring for a progression of dogs, I advanced my education up to and including a doctoral degree and penned any number of articles for professional journals. At one time I experienced a career shift from leadership and administration in patient care into publishing. There I realized my goal to write, and write, and write some more. I helped launch a popular nursing journal called Nursing Spectrum and remained with the company in various capacities – moving with our wonderful and huge German Shepherd “Baby” from New York to Florida. During that time I acquired the copyright to my beloved Cherry Ames series of books, lightly edited them, and had them republished through Springer Publishing Company. While in Florida we lost our Shepherd to cancer – a grievous time in our lives. But long time “doggy people” often know that if we live long enough we outlast our dogs and the greatest tribute we can make to the ones we love is to give another great dog a great home. And so the Veterinarian who cared for Baby called us one day and said she had a puppy with our name on it. One nibble to my ear was all it took and Big Al owned us lock, stock, and barrel. Then right around the time the Twin Towers came down, my husband and I, with our beautiful Collie Big Al, then fully grown, left Florida and returned to New York. Years later after Big Al moved on – another grievous loss leaving a huge void in our lives so deep that no amount of tears would fill it, so I started working on my book Nursing Leadership For Patient Centered Care - Authentic Presence Intuition Expertise - to bring to light and resolve important and sometimes detrimental issues in patient care. This book and 20 Cherry Ames books may be found at springerpub.com, barnes&noble.com, and at amazon.com. In addition to writing, I edit The Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association’s News, I conduct seminars, and participate in panel discussions and formal and informal healthcare planning sessions. I also consult on healthcare issues. Near and dear to my heart is charismatic leadership and exposing and eliminating breakdowns in patient care.
Some time after Big Al died I received a telephone call from Dr. Cindy - the same Vet who cared for the Shepherd and found us Big Al. She asked if we would take Simmer. After ascertaining what Simmer was – a six year old Blue Ribbon Championship Collie who needed a home of her own – we agreed. Soon thereafter I met Dr. Cindy and Simmer at the airport – they had flown to New York from Florida – and it was love at first sight. In truth though, it took Simmer more than two years to relax in her new home. Anxiety was evident but we took it slowly and now she is unafraid of NY traffic and no longer overprotective of us when garbage trucks rumble by. She is 10 years old and truth be told we sit up half the night and sometimes all night and worry each time she seems a bit out of kilter – big dogs don’t live as long as little dogs do and the thought of losing her is just too much to bear – so we cut off those thoughts or at least we try to cut them off. For now, we all have each other.
So there you have it. That’s who I am – daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, dog-person, nurse, writer, and accessible, caring, here for you if you call – and I sincerely hope you do call.