After retiring as a medical professional, ending her twenty-six and a half years of public service as an acute-care case manager of cardiovascular patients, Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman discovered a new way to impact others as a “Proactive Caregiver Advocate,” author, and coach. Through her rich experiences in the medical field, she aims to empower others by amplifying real and raw personal stories, encouraging audiences to “just breathe.”
Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman is the author of the acclaimed book entitled From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor, where she shared her personal journey caring for her mother for over two decades. Becoming a caregiver advocate has been a full-circle journey for Dr. Hickman. Today, it is her mission to inspire others to avert downfalls through caregiving.
Caring for her matriarch and beloved queen was an incredibly personal journey. Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman described it as a whole new experience from caring for her patients. After twenty years of taking care of her mother, Dr. Hickman discovered more of herself and how to become more effective by paying heed to the little things. Fueled by the challenges she overcame, she launched Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate blog and podcast.
“The sacrifices of caregiving are huge, often not known by others. The challenges of being a caregiver are just as huge, however, the importance of asking for help is necessary. The role can be lonely, and being able to share the caregiving space with others lightens the load. No one knows what you need until you ask. It is ok to ask for help. It is also of benefit to seek respite support. Care for the caregiver is essential and most important in the role,” shared Dr. Cynthia Hickman.
Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman obtained her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Prairie View A&M University. She also obtained a master’s degree in the same field with a specialization in education and a PhD in Health Services with a specialization in leadership from Walden University. Dr. Hickman is currently teaching evidence-based practices to associate-degree nurses, fulfilling her dream of being a nurse educator at Capella University.
As her way of giving back, Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman awarded two nursing students with the Cynthia J. Hickman Pay It Forward Nursing Scholarship for $10,000 last April 2021. By doing so, Dr. Hickman believes that she is fostering the next generation of nurses who will carry out the same level of commitment she has displayed throughout her career. Additionally, Dr. Hickman is well-versed in community advocacy work, food label education, nutritional health, social justice and community policing, diabetes and self-management care, and health promotion education. She also works closely as a mentor with nurses who are still in practice.
On a mission to leave a lasting impact, Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman has spearheaded several philanthropic ventures. Her paid program called The Black Book Program is designed to help caregivers keep hold of essential documents such as birth certificates, Social Security information, health information, and many more, knowing how important it is for a health professional to have such vital information at arm’s reach whenever needed. Dr. Hickman also launched Socks for Seniors, a quarterly donation program that gathers socks for senior citizens. Everyone everywhere can take part in the community program.
“My personal experiences of caring for a parent in the home, quitting my job without thought because of a need to give total care to my mother is personal,” shared Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman. “There were days I did not get it right. I admitted it, dusted myself off, and got back into the world of meeting the needs of another. Caregiving is not about competition—it is about taking action, being present until the end,” she added.
To learn more about Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman, visit her website.