With over 30 years experience in nursing, I have had the opportunity to serve in several work and professional leadership positions. I currently serve as Chairperson of the School of Nursing at Wichita State University. Other positions in academia include - Assistance Dean for Practice and Chair of a BSN program. Professionally, I was elected to the board of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and as Chairperson of the Nominating Committee; I have held appointments on the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center Board and the ANA-PAC Board. In Kansas, I have served as the elected President and Board member of the State Nurses Association, and I am currently active on the Kansas APRN Task Force working to implement regulatory changes consistent with the Consensus Model.
As a researcher, I study the influence policy has on access to health care, particularly how community health centers influence the health of the medically underserved.I write and teach on issues related to policy and politics and have served as a legislative intern to the chairperson of the state Senate’s public health and welfare committee. I also teach a interprofessional course in the graduate certificate Public Health program and Doctorate of Nursing Practice on Population and Social Health Determinants.
I started my career as someone who wanted to make a difference in the lives of individuals and selected nursing as a career to “help” people. My experience as a community health nurse, lead to expanding my concept of helping individuals to communities and populations with involvement in a multitude of community organizations. I recently served as a president/board member of the advocacy group: Kansas Health Consumer Coalition, whose mission is to advocate for affordable, accessible, and quality health care in Kansas.
I personally brought together community leaders to assess the health needs of the medically indigent in one Kansas County. From this group of task force members I led the community in the formation of a not-for-profit organization to provide health care to individuals with limited incomes. As President, I helped create Health Care Access, Inc., a state funded primary health care clinic.
Participation in community organizations included membership of the county Community Coverage Initiative - volunteers included business owners, health care agencies and others in exploring ideas for affordable health coverage in the county. Other activities have included involvement in county health assessment committees, a Pandemic Influenza county work group, board of directors of home health organizations, immunization and primary care work task forces and health and social committees. Internationally, I have participated in two health mission teams to Haiti.
I live in Andover with my husband and miniature dachshund. My favorite hobbies are working in the yard, jogging and hiking in the mountains.