Project CHILDD’s Drago gives back to her community as clinical director

Camille Drago, Westchester clinical director of Project CHILDD.

Camille Drago, a long-time resident of Pelham who’s worked as a registered nurse for 40 years, plays an important role in the community as Westchester clinical director of Project CHILDD.

Project CHILDD (Community Help In Learning about Developmental Disabilities) is an organization that aims to provide kids with special needs opportunities to engage in exciting social events with peers, assisting nurses and other teens. The kids range from small children to young adults. The events are not all of the same type, contrasting each other in different ways in order to expand the social horizons of the young people.

Drago’s career as a nurse was inspired by her interest in medicine and the inner workings of the body. Her work has a special place in her heart, as she pursued it due to health problems within her family.

“Nursing has a wide range of opportunities in all walks of life,” said Drago. “My favorite part is helping an ill person and their families. Most interesting is staff development, where I feel I can give back to the nursing profession. Promoting this profession is very rewarding as far as being able to help people in many needs—medical, mental and social.”

It’s clear Project CHILDD is dear to her heart.

“Our program, Project CHILDD, conveys hope, support, friendship, moral behaviors and many, many other areas in families that have children with special needs,” she said. “The program not only centers around the child but the entire family.”

Though she loves her career, Drago said it does not come without challenges. She said she believes the greatest is the task of educating patients and making sure they are provided with medical care that is safe and administered with love, compassion and empathy. At the same time, Drago’s passion to spread knowledge to her community keeps her motivated in her position as a clinical director at Project CHILDD.

Drago uses her life experiences from her career to better not only her own life but the lives of others around her. Due to her past, she is able to give advice that is suitable for anyone looking to follow a path similar to hers.

“Always be honest, practice safe care and allow yourself to be vulnerable and always be an advocate for your patient,” said Drago. “Never give up on your challenges in this profession, seek resolutions.”