I have served as Parish Nurse at First Congregational UCC since I completed that training in 1993. I provide holistic health education, accompany individuals to appointments, assist with healthcare decision-making and Advance Care Planning decision-making. I oversee the Caring Circle which is our lay program of visitation and accompaniment for members with particular short- or long-term needs. My focus for all of my work is on the physical, mental, psychosocial, and spiritual care of parishioners.
I was born and raised in Los Altos, California. My mother’s commitment to caring for marginalized people set me on my path toward ministry. Her death when I was 15 broadened my focus to caring for people with advanced disease and at end of life.
I came to OSU and obtained my BA in Sociology while working in a unique nursing home where I was taught to give very personalized care. I earned my Masters of Divinity at Chicago Theological Seminary, and spent time with families in emergency rooms in the poorest areas of Chicago during my training.
I served as co-pastor with my husband in two rural churches, first in E. Washington, then in Eastern Oregon. I learned the particular challenges of rural healthcare, for the rich and poor alike. Amid family changes, with two very small children, I felt a call to study nursing with a focus on hospice and palliative care. I earned my RN at LBCC and worked for Benton Hospice Service for 13 years. The multidisciplinary team and very personalized care for the whole person and family made me want to provide that same level of care to people earlier in the disease process. I then pursued my BSN while working in Radiation Oncology, and earned my MSN and Adult Nurse Practitioner degree at Vanderbilt, with a concentration in Hospice and Palliative Care.
I joined the inpatient Palliative Care Team at Salem Hospital and had the privilege of working with patients and families at all stages of disease, from time of diagnosis of a chronic illness to the difficult decisions about withdrawing life support in the ICU. I joined Dr. Gotchall and Dr. May in providing primary care in a new model at Sahali Health Clinic in January 2017. We worked at providing holisitic care to people with complex chronic conditions, to help them live as well as possible with their conditions and to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. Unfortunately, the clinic had to close in October of 2017.
I now am the resident Nurse Practitioner at Corvallis Manor, working with the medical director to help prevent unnecessary trips to the emergency room and hospital admissions. I hope to help improve the quality of care for post-hospital patients and for long-term residents, as well as providing education to the staff in good palliative care.