Janie Menchaca-Wilson was born in Lytle, Texas. She received her BSN from Incarnate Word College (now the University of the Incarnate Word) in San Antonio TX and became licensed as a Registered Nurse in the state of Texas. She attended The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where she earned her Master’s degree and a PhD with a major in nursing, thus earning the distinction of being the first Hispanic of Mexican descent in the United States to earn a doctorate with a major in nursing.
She was a professor of nursing until her retirement in the Department of Nursing Education at San Antonio College for many years serving as a mentor to numerous students of Hispanic descent. In additional to her professorial duties, she served on numerous committees of NAHN including being the reporter, writer, editor publisher and distributer of El Faro, NAHN’s official organ.
She was active in the San Antonio Chapter of NAHN and on numerous occasions over several years, Dr, Menchaca-Wilson provided monies to the San Antonio Chapter of NAHN to finance nursing scholarships for deserving and worthy applicants.
When Dr. Menchaca-Wilson was elected President of NAHN, one of her major achievements was the establishment of the NAHN Chapters, the first one being in San Antonio, TX.
As President of NAHN, Dr Menchaca-Wilson combined her leadership skills with Ms. Remigia Aurora Garcia, a member of the San Antonio Chapter, submitted on behalf of the San Antonio Chapter and as its principal investigators, for a four-year grant in 1992 of $50,000 from the Texas Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS), which was then granted, to present workshops to train Hispanic nurses in Texas to promote breast health among Hispanic women with the intent that the Chapter members would then conduct Breast Self-Examinations (BSE) in their area. Hector Hugo Gonzalez was appointed the Project Director. Tthe NAHN National leadership determined that the grant was awarded to them so the Chapter acquiesced to that decision and it was administered by them.
The workshops were conducted in the NAHN Chapters in El Paso, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Although there was no chapter in the lower Texas Lower Rio Grande Valley, one workshop was held in McAllen.
The El Paso Chapter -- under the presidency of Virginia Smith -- was exemplary in its adoption of the intent of the grant and, for several years after the grant ended, the El Paso Chapter continued to conduct the BSEs throughout the El Paso area including the employees of what was then the Levi Strauss plant. Its post-project impact in the El Paso area lasted several years.
Dr. Menchaca-Wilson is now retired and resides in Oakland, California.