Community values, work dedication ... it's 'in her blood'
By BROOKE BUNCH
Gazette Staff Writer
In the midst of dessert and after-dinner chat, an announcement was made at the head of the room, startling local resident and long-time nurse Lisa Kauffman.
"I'm shocked," said a pale-faced Kauffman. "I can't believe this."
Among family, friends and members of District 30 Nurses' Association, Kauffman was honored Tuesday as the 2004 Nurse of the Year at Valentine Manor.
Kauffman, R.N., M.S.N., was selected by her peers for demonstrating significant accomplishments in her work and exemplary community service with Kingston United Methodist Church, the Zane Trace Booster Club and hosting three high school international exchange students.
Kauffman is also a member of the association's board and chairs the program committee.
Nursing has always been in her blood, Kauffman said.
"It's something I've wanted to do since I was a little girl," she said. "I had a picture on my mirror which said, 'When I grow up, I want to be a nurse.' And that's what I did."
Kauffman said her father encouraged her interest to be a nurse, noting it was an admirable profession.
"It's what God wanted me to do," she said.
Kauffman began her nursing career as a teen-age candy striper, which only affirmed her appetite for nursing.
She graduated from the Holzer Medical Center School of Nursing in 1976, where she went on to obtain her bachelors of science from Ohio University School of Nursing.
From there, Kauffman went on to Wright State, where she received her masters of science in Nursing in 1998.
She began her nursing career at Holzer Hospital, where she spent one year before moving on to Pinecrest Nursing Home.
After a two-year stint at the nursing home, Kauffman was hired as a staff nurse at Adena Regional Medical Center, where she spent the next 14 years.
She joined the faculty at Ohio University-Chillicothe Associate Degree Nursing program in 1993, and is currently an assistant professor in the program.
"I can't be there to take care of my patients forever," she said. "But I see my students do my job through me. It's very rewarding."
Kauffman's colleagues describe her as a true facilitator for students, one who is willing to work with them and demonstrate her passion for teaching.
"I have a deep respect for Lisa, not only as a nurse, but as a friend," said colleague Charlotte McManus, associate director of OU-C's nursing program. "She's not only a true friend, but a true professional. She cares for her students, her peers and her family."