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News Release
6-22-22 Commissioners Issue Proclamation for Nurse Appreciation Week (Photo) - 06/22/22


June 22, 2022


Commissioners Issue Proclamation for Nurse Appreciation Week


            (Douglas County, Ore.) The Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Tim Freeman, Chris Boice and Tom Kress issued a proclamation today at the Weekly Business Meeting calling upon all citizens of Douglas County to observe June 20-26, 2022 as "Nurse Appreciation Week" in Douglas County.  The proclamation was presented by Commissioner Boice, on behalf of the Board and acknowledged that, “Nursing is not merely a vocation, but a calling to selflessly serve others by providing quality, compassionate and critical healthcare to patients during routine medical visits, long-term care situations, surgeries, emergencies and in times of great uncertainty.” A copy of the live video presentation can be found on the Douglas County Government Facebook page:


This week the Commissioners are celebrating the men and women of Douglas County that have chosen to serve others in the nursing profession.  It has been said that few professionals are admired as much as a nurse. In a 2020 assessment from Gallup Poll, “85% of Americans rated nurses as having the highest level of honesty and ethics compared to all other professions.”  Additionally, the poll noted that people who appreciate nurses and the nursing profession were also impressed by their clinical skills and compassion.   


The last two years have been incredibly taxing on everyone, but none more so than on our medical community.  We have a different model for public health in Douglas County, and I am forever grateful for our local healthcare organizations and professionals, made up of individuals like you, who are always willing to all work together, often times out of your scope of work and comfort zones, working long hard hours taking care of people and making sure our community comes first.   It is amazing to watch you work and I am in awe of all you do. Our community is a much better place because you are in it!” stated Commissioner Freeman. 


While ‘nursemaids’ and ‘caretakers’ have existed in some form for centuries, the nursing profession as it is known today originated in the 18th and 19th centuries. Initially, most of the care for sick or injured individuals occurred at home or in churches, and was performed by monks, nuns, female family members or deacons. With the onset of the industrial revolution and multiple wars, there came a need for more formal medical training, procedures and protocols for nurses.  Arguably the most notable influencer for modern nursing reform was Florence Nightingale, and her work during the Crimean War from 1894-1896.  She demonstrated the true value of nurses and the need for strict sanitation practices. She and her volunteer team of 34 nurses were sent by British Secretary of War, Sidney Herbert to a base hospital in Constantinople, in response to shocking stories of inhumane conditions.  Her diligent work reduced the hospital’s death rate by two-thirds. In addition to vastly improving the sanitary conditions of the hospital, Nightingale instituted special programs in the kitchen, the laundry room, patient care and established classrooms and libraries for patients.  She was known as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, who started the reform movement to address the poor operating conditions at military hospitals.  Today, she is widely regarded as the founder of modern nursing.


Commissioner Tom Kress presented Nurse Appreciation Week proclamation certificates to nurses and administrators from the Roseburg VA Medical Center, CHI Mercy Medical Center, Lower Umpqua Hospital District, Aviva Health Care, Umpqua Health Alliance, UCAN’s Nurse Home Visiting Program, Umpqua Community College – Nursing Program and Cow Creek Health and Wellness Center. Joining us today were: Roseburg VA: Linda Shinn, Lisa Yop and Nikki Hansen; CHI Mercy: Angela Powell, Bethnie Johnson, Brittany Bass, Candice Fredricks, Danielle Marshall, Debi Groshong, Haley Danskey, Kelly Winberg, LaRae Ernst, Natasha Gugel, Adrienne Johnson and Alysha Hamilton; Lower Umpqua Hospital: Deanna Vest, Paulina Coleman, Rio McGee, Renae Mefford; Aviva: Natalie Jones, Rose Hoyle, SaVanna Bixby, Shasta Sparks, Susan Querubin and Tosha Agee; Umpqua Health: Timothy James, Jude Bjerke, Keala Meyer and Misty Smith: UCAN: Ashley Pittam Hays, Charie Wolford and Marilee Seidler; UCC: Chelsea Gillespie-Towne, Danielle Haskett, Terrie Lowe, Maria Bacigalupo (2nd year Student) and Sarah Brock (2nd year Student) and Cow Creek: Paige Bayless.   This event was extra special to Commissioner Kress, as he was able to honor his daughter, Natasha Gugel, who is a Registered Nurse at CHI Mercy Medical Center.


I am admittedly a bit biased when it comes to Nurses.  But, these last few months with the proclamations that we have done reminds me of all the different people and groups in our community that have stepped up to serve during the pandemic and many other times.  You are all what makes Douglas County such a very special place,” commented Commissioner Kress. 


            Douglas County has over 1,200 dedicated Nursing professionals as a part of our local workforce, as well as a robust and highly regarded Nursing Education Program at Umpqua Community College.  This proclamation is a reminder to our citizens to take the time to thank our nurses, and offer them our sincere gratitude, unyielding support and utmost respect to those whose contribution and sacrifice to our local workforce is paramount in sustaining a healthy community for all to live, work, and play.

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