Thursday, July 22, 2010

Preserving the memory of Marsha Heims (1947-2010)

On June 6, 2010, OHSU School of Nursing alumna and professor Marsha Heims, RN, EdD, passed away. Twenty days later, colleagues, friends, and family gathered at the school to for a memorial service filled with stories and laughter. The service, and video presentations shown at it, were compiled on DVD and donated to the Historical Collections & Archives. Called "Celebrating the Life of Marsha Heims," the DVD will provide an audiovisual record of Heims' accomplishments to accompany the paper files--and if you knew Marsha, you'd know that you couldn't know Marsha without the audio and the visual!

Heims was born in Salem, OR, in 1947, and grew up in Stayton. She received her bachelor's degree in nursing from OHSU in 1969. After a stint with the US Air Force from 1971-1973, Heims received her master's degree in child health nursing from the University of Arizona College of Nursing in 1974. She then joined the faculty of the OHSU School of Nursing, rising through the ranks from instructor to full professor before her retirement in 2008. In 1991, she received her doctorate in education from Portland State University, writing a dissertation on the clinical laboratory in nursing education. She held important positions in both the Oregon Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing, including a stint on the NLN Board of Directors. From 1995-2008, she was a member by invitation of the Groves Conference on Marriage and Family. She received numerous awards and honors, and was selected by SON students as Faculty Marshal for graduation nearly a dozen times.

But all that is just data. In an article for the May 2008 Nursing eNotes, colleague Ann Beckett said "Marsha always gave me good counsel whether I wanted to hear it or not." Heims herself admitted: "I don't mince words." Thanks to the nursing school media folks who put the DVD together, future generations will have vivid examples of the truth of these words.

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