Coos Bay, OR. – Kathy Laird, R.N. M.N, CEO of the Waterfall Clinic in Coos Bay has been nominated and selected as the Distinguished Alumni of Southwestern Oregon Community College for 2012. Beverly Segner, Laird’s nominator and current board member of Waterfall Clinic said that Laird exceeds in all the Distinguished Alumni criteria of leadership, professional growth, educational advancement, and community involvement.
Laird’s commitment to education is apparent as she earned her Associate Degree in Nursing at Southwestern in 1987. A graduate of Southwestern’s Nursing Graduate Program (RN) she earned her bachelors of Nursing from Southern Oregon University, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health from Oregon Health Sciences University. She also participated in the prestigious Johnson and Johnson/UCLA Health Care Executive Program. Laird worked as an RN at the Bay Area Hospital from 1987-1994 and as nursing faculty at Southwestern from 1990-2001.
Segner says, "Kathy would want me to note that her success in development of Waterfall Clinic could not have been achieved without the support and dedication of others of like mind.”
She became a driving force for creating a medical clinic for low-income and under-insured members of the community. Segner says “Kathy would want me to note that her success in development of Waterfall Clinic could not have been achieved without the support and dedication of others of like mind.”
Today the Waterfall Clinic has grown from a borrowed office with evening hours to a fully staffed federally qualified community health center with its own building in North Bend and school based health centers at Marshfield and Powers High Schools. Today the clinic has over 40 employees. Since its inception, the Waterfall Clinic has served as a training/internship site for SWOCC programs and OHSU nurse practitioner candidates.
Laird is a member of numerous community and professional organizations including the Southern Oregon Cadre of Nurse Executives, Oregon Primary Care Association, Women’s Health Coalition and she is currently the president-elect of the South Coast Rural Health Integrated Provider Team.
Laird will speak at the June commencement ceremony at Southwestern which will be timely given that it is Southwestern’s 50th graduating class of nursing.
Dr. Patty Scott, President of the Southwestern Oregon Community College said “Kathy deserves this honor given her educational commitment to life-long learning and her service to community. This year’s graduation will be a very special one with twenty-five nursing graduates and 16 graduates in the allied health including EMT, Medical Assistants, Medical clerical, and Medical Transcriptionist.”