Join Us in Celebrating Our Nurses During National Nurses Week

Join Us in Celebrating Our Nurses During National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week is May 6 – 12, and to kick it off, we’d like to express our deep appreciation for Cascade Health’s hard-working nursing staff and introduce you to several passionate nurses on our care team.

What is National Nurses Week?

National Nurses Week is an annual recognition period that starts on May 6 and ends on May 12 (Florence Nightingale’s birthday) to celebrate the contributions nurses and nursing staff make to our communities. (Florence Nightingale, for those who do not know, was considered the founder of modern nursing.) The American Nurses Association (ANA) has been supporting and promoting the nursing profession since 1896 and encourages recognition programs at the state and regional levels during this time.

Examples of the Many Ways Cascade Health Nurses Serve Our Programs

At Cascade Health, we take pride in improving the quality of life for those in our community, and in serving their physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs. Our nurses are key players on a team of specialized health care professionals. They play a critical role in all of our programs: home health, palliative care, hospice, and workplace wellness.

Nurses Are So Important Because…

  • The nursing profession is broad and its responsibilities are varied. Nurses serve our communities tirelessly with skill and compassion.
  • Nurses are key players on a medical team helping to address physical needs, treat health conditions and prevent illness.
  • Nurses are by our side and by the sides of our loved ones from birth until the end of life.
  • You’ll find nursing staff throughout the community from our schools to senior facilities and many places in between.
  • Often, a nurse is the first person you speak to or the first person you’ll see when you need medical attention.
  • Nurses are patient advocates, providing direct care and getting to know their patients.
  • Hospice and palliative care nurses are there to guide and support you and your family through difficult decisions, provide pain and symptom relief, and be your advocate in providing end-of-life care.

And now, let’s meet a few of our hard-working nurses and learn more about what they love about their jobs.

Zack, left, founded the Hospice House Ultimate Memorial Ride, which challenges bicyclists to spend three days traversing three summits and more than 160 miles and 13,000 feet in elevation to raise money for Pete Moore Hospice House.

Meet Zach Page: Registered Nurse (RN)

When Zach’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, he was inspired to become a nurse, and he served in oncology for seven years before transitioning into hospice work. He has been with Cascade Health for eight years now, and shares a few things he loves about his job:

“Being a hospice nurse is probably the most gratifying, fulfilling and rewarding work that I could ever imagine. The dying process is extremely intimate and full of emotions for everyone involved. During this tumultuous time, we are invited into the inner circle of the family and allowed the opportunity to make the patient and family as comfortable as possible. I always tell my patients that I have the best job in the world. As a people pleaser, it doesn’t get any better than coming into a very stressful situation and putting everyone at ease. I love being a hospice nurse.”

Besides being a full-time nurse, Zach is a father of two and a hobby beekeeper. He also helps organize an annual fundraiser for the Pete Moore Hospice House called the HHUMR (Hospice House Ultimate Memorial Ride).

Karen Knowlton runs our Wellness programs, helping companies keep their employees healthy, making sure people are prepared for travel and ensuring that anyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine gets one at our walk-in clinics.

Meet Karen Knowlton: Registered Nurse (RN) and Wellness Coordinator

Karen has been a nurse for 42 years and found her way into the profession in college. As a student nurse, she was able to experience many different types of nursing and was especially drawn to the operating room. Along the path of her career, she met three different nurse mentors who helped shape her career. Through the support and encouragement of these mentors, she learned she could be successful in anything she put her mind to and was encouraged to teach, manage, and aspire to be the type of manager that people wanted to follow.

Karen has lived in Eugene since 2014, where she has worked as an administrator of a plastic surgery center before eventually returned to her roots in the OR. She says:

Eugene was building a new VA clinic with an operating room, and I wanted in. I was hired and worked serving veterans for five years. I quickly learned that our veterans needed help and someone on their side. Clinical staff at the VA fight for the veterans’ right to medical care. I was blessed to have that opportunity to give a voice to these brave Americans. I retired in November of 2020 (or so I thought!) and took a per diem job with Cascade Health. I’ve embraced the change because it allows me to serve the community, expand my nursing repertoire, and work for a company with a strong culture of valuing their employees.”

Meet Gina Fore: Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Gina began her nursing career as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and decided to pursue her nursing degree five years ago. The nurses she worked with, she says, were her inspiration to further her education. She has been working at the Pete Moore Hospice House for four years, and before that, she worked in a skilled nursing facility. She shares:

“I fell in love with hospice when I was working in the skilled nursing facility because I think it’s really special being able to make patients comfortable in the last few days or hours. Some people don’t have any loved ones and I enjoy being with them, so they don’t die alone. What I love most about my work is the ability to bring comfort to patients, whether I’m giving them medications, repositioning them for comfort, or just sitting there holding their hand.”

Once again, on behalf of all of us at Cascade Health, a big “thank you” to Zach, Karen, Gina, and all of our nurses, who serve our community with dedication and compassion.

The information contained in this post is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only.