After 17 years working for CHC/SEK, Nancy Evans, RN, BSN, will retire at the end of December. CHC/SEK established a scholarship in her honor for her service and dedication.
CHC/SEK’s first employee retires, scholarship created in her name
To honor Nancy Evans, RN, BSN, for her 17 years of service to Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas and a lifetime dedicated to nursing, CHC/SEK has established the Nancy Evans Nursing Scholarship at the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas.
The scholarship will be given annually to an individual, selected by Nancy, pursuing a degree in nursing.
“While we can’t replace Nancy, she can now help us find someone who may one day try,” said Krista Postai, CHC/SEK CEO and President in a video announcing the scholarship. “Enjoy your well-earned retirement Nancy and for always, always, being where we needed you the most and when we needed you. God bless you and thank you for all you’ve done.”
People who wish to contribute to the scholarship endowment can send a check made out to CHC/SEK Evans Scholarship Fund Attn Douglas Stuckey, Trustee P.O. Box 1832, Pittsburg, KS 66762-1832 or call Douglas at 620-240-5011.
Over the span of 17 years, Nancy was part of the beginnings of many services at Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, from dental to flu shots and prescription assistance to diabetic education.
Nancy, who most recently served as a Nurse/Certified Diabetic Educator, is set to retire at the end of December.
“I’m looking forward to retiring but I most certainly will miss this place, it’s been a wonderful job,” she said.
Nancy started working for CHC/SEK out of the Wesley House. The dental program then began at Wesley House and she continued to be part of the program when it moved over to 924 N. Broadway in Pittsburg.
Later on, with a kitchen table for an office, Nancy worked in the CHC/SEK doublewide trailer where she provided prescription assistance. She looked at her log recently, and since becoming employed Nancy has provided prescription assistance for over 14,000 encounters. Nancy didn’t do it alone, she said, she often had volunteers working with her or a part time employee to help do paperwork.
Providing prescription assistance grew the need for case management.
“When you do prescription assistance, they tell you what they are needing and why they can’t afford things and one thing just turned into another and you work with them to try to get food or shelter, all kinds of things,” Nancy said.
Krista noticed Nancy was frequently educating diabetic patients and encouraged her to become a certified diabetic educator. Nancy became the first diabetic educator at CHC/SEK.
“That’s something I never thought about,” Nancy said. “I thought I’d get bored because it was pretty much doing one disease entity and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do that, but now – by all means – it is my passion.”
Before testing, the certification required 1,000 hours of teaching and she had to do it within four years. Completing her certification became quite the undertaking because CHC/SEK kept growing and growing.
As she was preparing for her certification, Nancy was involved in a prescription assistance program, (PALS) which was “up and running and huge,” she said. Nancy also provided nutrition education, went to health fairs, traveled to southeast Kansas schools and gave vaccines to students. She became the “flu shot lady,” delivering thousands of shots as she went from one business or company to another to provide flu shots.
Diabetic education became such a strong passion for Nancy because there is such a need not only in southeast Kansas, but also globally. There are thousands just in Pittsburg who are diagnosed with diabetes.
“It’s on the brink of an epidemic, partly because of the obesity factor and the fact that you can buy pop for a whole lot less money than a gallon of milk,” she said. “I really think the biggest reason is the lack of exercise, which is contributing to the obesity too.”
It’s rewarding to see the changes in patients when they get their diabetes under control, she said, adding that when somebody has high blood sugars, nothing about them feels good, they are tired all of the time, and nothing feels right.
“If we can get your blood sugars down to where they are supposed to be, you are going to be delightfully surprised how much energy you have and how many more things you can do, and how much bigger your life is going to be,” Nancy said.
The people – her patients – are what made CHC/SEK a special place for her.
“That’s what I’m going to miss when I leave, my people, and they are the world to me,” Nancy said. “I see them out on the streets and I have some that text or call me to tell me stuff, someone brought in their new baby the other day, and somebody came in saying something about just needing a hug – that’s the kind of the thing I’m going to miss when I’m not here anymore.”
Nancy beams with pride when she shares with people about her career and CHC/SEK. She gives the credit to the founder and employees and other visionaries of what CHC/SEK has come to be and continues to grow into.
“When I start going through all the things we do, I kind of take a step back and I’m so impressed,” she said. “And I work here and I’m part of it, but I’m still impressed by all that we do and the resources we provide, it’s pretty darned amazing.”