First Pediatric Clinic
The phone rang. “Hello…Granny’s phone,” says a friendly voice at a home on Carnation Street in Lake Jackson. JoAnn Forse, owner of the home, had stepped away. One of her many neighbors, who gathered in her home each evening to share neighborly friendship, answered the phone.
JoAnn has been the “caretaker” and “matriarch” of the 300 block of Carnation Street since 1957, when she and her husband, Clarence, moved in. 1957 also happened to be the same year that JoAnn began her 37-year journey as a pediatrician’s nurse.
Her journey began when she was a young nursing graduate working at the Freeport hospital, a one-story structure. Dr. Oscar Johnson, the first pediatrician in the Brazosport area, walked up to her and said, “Would you be my nurse?” JoAnn decided to answer the call, and thus began a 27-year working partnership with Dr. Johnson. AND Lake Jackson's first pediatric clinic was born.
The clinic was originally located on South Parking Place, where the Cork Wine Lounge is currently located. Dr.Edwin Cook also practiced in the clinic, which later moved to a larger location on That Way. Changing Reflections Medical Day Spa now occupies that site.
JoAnn recalls her original uniform as a white dress, white hose, and a white cap. When asked about the biggest difference vs. today, she said, “Back then, we would pick up the babies, hold them, give them shots, and then bring them back to their parents.”
The clinic’s waiting room brings back fond memories to many of us who grew up during the 1960’s and 1970’s, especially the mural of monkeys in a tree painted on the wall!
Although JoAnn retired from formal nursing in 1994, she continues that caring spirit through her lucky neighbors, who are blessed to benefit from her company and compassion on a daily basis!