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James Recognized for Giving Back to Juvenile Detention Center During COVID-19

Jul 22 2022

“It takes a village” is a phrase referring to a community mindset, often in small towns where everyone has a role.

James (J.R.) Niese, MBA, MSN, is a family practice nurse practitioner at Mercy Health – Columbus Grove Family Medicine and is also a Putnam County native. Thus, James certainly knows what it means to be a part of a community. In fact, he has dedicated his life to servicing his hometown by being the community’s nurse practitioner.

And recently, James took on a greater role by visiting the Allen County Juvenile Detention Center. He has been seeing patients at the center since March of 2020, committing one day each week throughout the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When COVID-19 was in its worst stretch, James’ medical advice steered the center’s programming, operational practices and dialogue for best practices. He was readily available to test residents, staff and acted as liaison between the center and the health department.

Alison Sites, director of detention services at the center, shares that on his first visit James gained positive rapport with residents, proving himself as an asset to the team.

“Despite being a stranger to the residents, his calm demeanor allows for honest dialogue about the residents’ medical history, medical needs and advice he feels will benefit them at the center,” she adds.  

Because of his invaluable service to the Allen County Probate and Juvenile Court, James received a public commendation last month on June 24, 2022.

James is very honored by the recognition and is humbled by the chance to help children and teenagers at the center, but also, anyone who needs his care.

“I really try to go above and beyond to help out the kids who may need it,” he says. “I’m really passionate about children and helping them out. Besides providing care to the residents, I also try to interact with them.”

The Allen County Probate and Juvenile Court commends James for his care given to the center.

“We are very fortunate to have him serving our community and truly feel he is part of our team,” Alison says.

In his free time, James enjoys spending time with his family on the farm.

Learn about the primary care services we offer at Mercy Health.

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