National Nurse Practitioner Week (Nov. 12-18) is being celebrated in Oregon with the induction of two Oregon nurse practitioners into the Nurse Practitioners of Oregon (NPO) Hall of Fame. Nurse practitioners Kathy Puffenbarger of Klamath Falls and Jane Harrison-Hohner of Portland have both been elected to the NPO Hall of Fame by their peers in recognition of their extraordinary achievements and their ongoing contributions to the nursing profession.
“The Nurse Practitioners of Oregon are proud to honor two outstanding nurse practitioners who have helped change Oregon’s health care landscape and raised the standard of patient care throughout the state,” said NPO Chair Kat Chinn, RN, MS, FNP-BC.
Kathy Puffenbarger was one of the first nurse practitioners (NPs) to practice independently in Southern Oregon and has been deeply involved in state health care policy. She participated in the formulary committee which determined Oregon’s NPs were qualified to prescribe medication to patients—helping reduce unnecessary travel for patients and increasing access to health care services in rural Oregon. Puffenbarger owns, manages and practices at Klamath Walk In Care Center in Klamath Falls, where she regularly offers free blood pressure screenings and free sports physicals for families who are unable to afford them.
Jane Harrison-Hohner was an early advocate for women’s health care and a regular speaker and trainer at education conferences across the country. She was a key faculty member in Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) nurse practitioner program and director of OHSU’s menstrual disorder program where she led research around premenstrual syndrome. Harrison-Hohner also practiced in clinics throughout Portland.
The NPO Hall of Fame was established in 2016 to commemorate NPs and advocates who have made significant contributions to advanced nursing practice in Oregon. Previous inductees include Oregon’s first nurse practitioner, former leaders of NPO and the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA), teachers, mentors and physician advocates. Nominations are considered annually.
Nurse practitioners, also known as NPs, are expert health care providers with advanced training who provide high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care. Oregon’s NPs have led the nation in advanced nursing practice and have provided independent comprehensive health care to patients for nearly 40 years, including helping pass the nation’s first NP payment parity law, which requires insurance companies to reimburse primary care and mental health NPs and physicians at the same rates.
National Nurse Practitioner Week is an annual celebration of the work of more than 234,000 nurse practitioners across the U.S. This week’s dates are Nov. 12 – 18. For more information about National NP Week visit www.aanp.org.
Nurse Practitioners of Oregon is a special interest group within the Oregon Nurses Association. Together NPO and ONA represent more than 500 NPs and more than 13,000 registered nurses throughout the state. NPO and ONA advocate for advancements in nursing, quality health care, and healthy communities. For more information visit www.nursepractitionersoforegon.org or www.oregonrn.org.