MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University School of Nursing will honor the service, leadership, and academic achievements of students and faculty at 7 p.m. Friday, April 25 at the Health Sciences Center’s Fukushima Auditorium.

Jill D. Cochran, Ph.D., this year’s Judy C. Kandzari Memorial Lectureship speaker, will present “Rural Peoples’ Stories: A Foundation for Practice.” She is an assistant professor in the Clinical Science Department of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, W.Va., as well as a visiting lecturer at the WVU School of Dentistry. She has been involved in educating health professions students in Appalachian values and healthcare delivery for 22 years and practicing in rural communities throughout the state for 35 years.

As a West Virginia native, Dr. Cochran has a special appreciation for rural medicine. “It’s hard for other people to come into Appalachia and understand our values,” she said. “When you grow up in a mining town, you have a very strong community, and you want to give back to it. It gives you a whole different perspective on the people you live among and their courage.”

Cochran will share stories, from humorous to heartfelt, from her years as a home health aide in some of the most rural hollows in the state, illustrating how nurses and nurse practitioners in rural areas learn to “make do.” “These are stories that changed my life by being a part of theirs,” she said.

This lectureship is personal for Cochran, who worked alongside Kandzari in the 1990s at Rainelle Medical Center establishing medical training centers for nurses practicing in rural areas. “This is very heartfelt for me. I’m living in Judy’s legacy and really trying to continue what she started to help West Virginian people.”

Every other year, the Kandzari lecture series welcomes a national leader in rural health issues. It’s named in honor of the late Judy C. Kandzari, a School of Nursing faculty member whose dedication to nursing education in rural areas was well-known throughout the state. Kandzari, a community health nurse, was also the School of Nursing’s first director of distance education.

Scholarships and awards will be presented to students and faculty.

For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
sf: 04-10-14