Tell Us a Little About Yourself
I grew up in a small farming community in a town of 700 people in rural eastern Nebraska. My parents had five children and I am the 4th child in the birth order. We all lived in a small house with one bathroom! (Yes, it can be done). The town was founded by German and Czech immigrants and when I was young, it was not unusual to hear German and Czech conversations being held between grocery store staff and customers. So many were wonderful bakers and cooks of European pastries and goodies which prompted my interest in baking and food. We lived well below the poverty line, which I only realized when I was applying for colleges and in need of financial aid. Growing up we utilized the resources we had. We had a huge garden, would fish and hunt, and canned vegetables and fruit. I wore lots of hand me down clothing. Nothing was wasted. I was blessed to live in a small town where you knew almost everyone and everyone knew you, never locked your doors to your home or car, I could walk safely around the town at any hour of the day or night, and everyone helped each other. After high school, I moved away to attend college and realized life was very different from the protected environment I grew up in! I worked part time at various positions and completed my nursing degree. My mother always told me to pick a career where you could always have a job no matter what shape the country was in, and she was right. Nursing has always kept me employed. I have been married for 44 years and have two sons. We lived in several states taking advantage of opportunities offered to us, which allowed me to gain experience in different aspects of nursing and different healthcare systems. We lived in the Pacific Northwest twice, returning to Pierce County and staying since 1993.
Do You Have Any Pets?
Yes, a 3-year-old goldendoodle named Farley.
Do You Have Any Hobbies?
Enjoy reading, gardening, cooking/baking.
What is Your Favorite Way to Relax?
Sitting on my patio with my dog, watching/listening to the birds in my yard with a cup of coffee.
When and Why Did You Join Elevate Health?
I joined EH February 1, 2021. After 43 years working as a registered nurse in various positions within health systems, my last position allowed me to work in the community with various community agencies on different projects. I realized the enormous value of community-based organizations in the continuum of care for supporting patients. When an opportunity opened at Elevate Health, it was an opportunity for me to promote the connection between the systems of community, hospitals, health systems and other clinical providers from a different access point in support of whole person health.
What Kind of Work Do You Do at Elevate Health?
I am involved in projects that promote integration of whole person care. This includes physical, behavioral, dental health focusing on all stages of life. I work collaboratively with community stakeholders health systems, and clinical providers supporting the social care network, community-based care coordination, and workforce development that support our Pierce County population.
What Do You Like About Working for Elevate Health?
I appreciate the innovation and transformational work that Accountable Communities of Health are focused on. It’s exciting to imagine new approaches to improve health equity and outcomes in Pierce County.
What Is Your Favorite Thing To Do in Pierce County?
Visiting Mt. Rainier.
What is Your Favorite Restaurant in Pierce County?
There are so many! Farm 12 in Puyallup is my latest.