“This is the greatest honor of my professional career,” said Hansen, who has been with Samaritan Health Services for a total of 31 ½ years. “I was completely surprised and humbled to have been given this award.”
Hansen is the 27th recipient of this award, which the OHA named after Elizabeth Wessinger, a founding OHA board member who was instrumental in merging two previous associations into the OHA. Wessinger and her husband Ben also established the Hospice Assistance Fund, a dedicated trust for the Oregon Hospice Association at The Oregon Community Foundation.
Hansen’s career with Samaritan has included work in critical care, home health and wound care nursing. She became the director of Samaritan Evergreen Hospice in 2001, overseeing home hospice care and the Samaritan Evergreen Hospice House. She also serves as director of Samaritan’s home health services in the mid-Willamette Valley.
Her colleagues at Samaritan Evergreen Hospice and Samaritan Albany General Hospital nominated her for this award. As part of the honor, they notified her family, who drove to the OHA awards dinner in Bend to surprise Hansen as she received the award.