Pamela Rorrer, who has spent much of her career as a public health nurse in Patrick County, received this year’s Virginia Department of Public Health Nurse of the Year award. Kyndra Jackson, DNP, MPH, RN-BC, Director of Public Health Nursing for the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), made the announcement as part of National Nurses Week.
“One-man-show” describes the day-to-day public health nursing practice of Pamela Rorrer,” said West Piedmont Health District’s (WPHD’s) Nurse Manager, Verna Burnette, who serves as Rorrer’s supervisor. Burnette made the nomination in support of Pamela’s excellent work ethic, ability to rapidly adjust to changing needs, and commitment to the people of Patrick County. “Pam is 110% deserving of this award,” said Burnette. “For her, this is a higher calling.”
According to the nomination, Rorrer wears many hats, serving as nurse, epidemiologist – even electrician when needed at the Patrick County Health Department. She has a heart for the people she serves, and often presents unique solutions to get the help her patients need, it said. Rorrer connects the dots to obtain resources and works diligently to establish new practices based on demonstrated needs. “She is one of those people who, when times get tough, we can call upon,” said Dr. Kerry Gateley, MD, PHD, CPE, WPHD Health Director.
As health district employees throughout the state watched the recognition virtually, Dr. Jackson proudly described the plethora of merits exhibited by nurses within the field of public health. She also touched on their many contributions made throughout Virginia’s communities.
During the special event, invited guests included Virginia’s newly appointed Health Commissioner Dr. Karen Shelton; Deputy Commissioner for Public Health and Preparedness and Acting Deputy Commissioner for Community Health Services Robert Hicks; Patrick County Interim County Administrator, Tim Hall; and Assistant County Administrator Donna Shough. Prior to the announcement, more than a dozen of Rorrer’s family members made a surprise entrance to celebrate her achievement.
The annual Public Health Nurse of the Year award can be obtained by any nurse within the 35 state health districts. It is based on a peer nomination process with the final recipient selected by a state-level panel.