Twenty years ago, Janet Hilsabeck, NNP, moved with her young children to Victoria, Texas. A lifelong resident of Oklahoma City, Hilsabeck was looking for a fresh start within a day’s drive from Oklahoma. “I had never even heard of Victoria, Texas, and I was nervous about fitting in at my new practice,” said Hilsabeck. “I had been with the same neonatologist since I was 18 years old.”
At first sight, Hilsabeck found Victoria to be small, quiet and lacking in activities for young children. But over time, through local development and her own immersion in the area, she soon realized all that Victoria had to offer. “There are good schools here, including some excellent private ones, and the University of Houston-Victoria,” she said. She also noted “the diversity is incredible. That is where the world is headed. I wanted my children to be surrounded by different cultures.”
And while Victoria has a small-town vibe, “I can do anything I want within two hours,” said Hilsabeck. She discovered the area’s symphony and theater group, “and there are so many festivals — leather, boots, breweries and seafood are just a few that come to my mind,” she said.
In the past two decades, Victoria has grown. “There are now lots of things for kids to do, plus shopping, including national supercenters and a mall,” she said. Alongside those modern touches, Victoria still maintains a local downtown and a historic district. The town is also centrally located, with highways and smaller roads that will take travelers to the big cities of Austin, Houston and Corpus Christi. A quaint coastal town is 30 minutes away and a more bustling beach area roughly double that distance.
Is Victoria right for you?
Hilsabeck admits Victoria may not suit someone seeking the fast pace of a city, but she plans to call the town home for good. “My husband and I just built a new home,” she said. Hilsabeck’s children are raising their families in Victoria as well. “I love having my grandchildren close.”
The region’s climate also speaks to someone who appreciates the heat. “Personally, I love it,” said Hilsabeck. The cooler seasons are short, with snow falling roughly every 100 years, she said. In addition to warm weather, Texas offers a low cost of living and no state income tax.
As for the neonatology practice, “We are a family. We socialize in and out of work. I was worried when I came here, but I found a place that makes me happy,” she said. The practice is currently in transition following the retirement of one of its full-time physicians. The group is also looking to grow its neonatal nurse practitioner team to further enhance the reach and services of the practice.
About the practice
The Victoria team provides 24-hour, in-house Level IIIA NICU coverage for nearly 20 beds in two community hospitals, supporting approximately 2,400 births annually. The practice delivers care for neonates as early as 26 weeks, as well as well-baby services in the mother/baby rooms. For those seeking a challenge, there are also opportunities to work occasionally at the nearby San Antonio Level III and Level IV NICUs. The practice believes in supporting the work/life balance of its providers while also facilitating professional development through established quality improvement, research, educational and simulation programs.