Jeanne Bowden, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., associate dean of Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing, La Grande, will receive the Oregon Health Forum Community Service Award on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 6 p.m. at a leadership dinner being held at the Benson Hotel, Portland. Bowden will be honored for her outstanding work in improving health care access to underserved Oregonians in rural communities such as Elgin and Union, and for expanding the OHSU School of Nursing's baccalaureate and graduate programs at Eastern Oregon University.
For almost 25 years, Bowden, a nurse, educator and researcher, has been working to improve the health care of rural Oregonians. To help remedy the nursing shortage in rural eastern Oregon, Bowden was instrumental in developing the nontraditional and popular OHSU Rural Frontier Delivery Program, which delivers baccalaureate nursing courses to place-bound students.
Bowden provided administrative support for the School of Nursing's three nurse-managed clinics: the Union Family Health Center, the Elgin Family Health Center and the Student Health Center at Eastern Oregon University. Under Bowden's watch, the Health Network for Rural Schools was developed, providing health and social service access to students and families in Cove, Elgin, Imbler, North Powder and Union. La Grande faculty and students run the Healthy Start program, assisting families caring for their first babies.
As a nurse-educator, Bowden has been responsible for preparing and teaching community classes, and has worked with diverse populations such as migrant families and Native Americans, as well as those suffering from chronic illnesses such as HIV.
"I'm just the administrator. It's the faculty, staff and communities that are the real pioneers in rural health care here. I'm the cheerleader," said Bowden.
At the leadership awards dinner, Oregon Health Forum will also be handing out scholarship checks to high school graduates who are pursuing a career in health care as a way of helping to alleviate the health professional shortage Oregon faces.
Each year Oregon Health Forum honors health care leaders who have made a significant difference in improving access to health care for Oregonians and solicits nominations throughout the state. Oregon Health Forum publishes an independent non-partisan monthly newsletter.