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Hettinger woman named Outstanding Rural Health Educator

The mission of the West River Health Services in Hettinger, N.D., is clear -- provide comprehensive health and wellness services to the residents and visitors of the region. To accomplish this mission, health care professionals with the center ha...

Barbara West, diabetes educator and nursing educator at West River Health Services, is the 2019 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health’s Outstanding Rural Health Educator/Mentor. Photo courtesy of the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota.
Barbara West, diabetes educator and nursing educator at West River Health Services, is the 2019 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health’s Outstanding Rural Health Educator/Mentor. Photo courtesy of the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota.

The mission of the West River Health Services in Hettinger, N.D., is clear - provide comprehensive health and wellness services to the residents and visitors of the region. To accomplish this mission, health care professionals with the center have spent countless hours developing programs with education and mentoring in mind.

The West River Health Services diabetes self-management education service in Hettinger is the recipient of continued recognition from the American Diabetes Association since being first recognized in 2002.

Barbara West, a diabetes and nursing educator at West River Health Services in Hettinger, received the Outstanding Rural Health Educator and Mentor Award at the 2019 Dakota

Conference on Rural and Public Health on June 12 in Minot, for her education and mentoring-led programming.

West started her nursing career at the West River Health Services in 1978, and has been the staff and nursing educator for more than three decades. In addition, West has been the patient diabetes educator with West River's Diabetes Management Program for more than 20 years.

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West's colleagues contend that her success is owed to an unwavering love for nursing and a passion for teaching, and that she is compassionate, kind and caring with everyone she meets, mentors and teaches.

The ADA Education Recognition Effort, launched in the fall of 1986, is a voluntary process assuring that approved education services meet the national standards for diabetes self-management education services. Services that achieve recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide state-of-the-art information about diabetes management for participants.

The award recognizes West as a professional who has made outstanding contributions to the education, development and placement of new health care professionals in rural North Dakota communities.

"West has spent years building up the education and training services offered at West River Health Services," said Barb Stadheim, a registered nurse with West River Health Services. "She has spent years developing the diabetes education program and has positively influenced many people's lives."

The Dakota Conference is a joint effort by the North Dakota Rural Health Association; the North

Dakota Public Health Association; Altru Health System of Grand Forks; the UND College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines; and the Center for Rural Health.

Related Topics: HEALTHEDUCATION
James B. Miller, Jr. is the Editor of The Dickinson Press in Dickinson, North Dakota. He strives to bring community-driven, professional and hyper-local focused news coverage of southwest North Dakota.
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