For 40 years, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumna Pamela Witt-Hillen ’78, of Neenah, has been a dedicated nurse and mentor to young nurses.
Witt-Hillen has worked at ThedaCare as a flight nurse for more than 30 years. She writes a quarterly newsletter, highlighting caregiver accomplishments and aspiring patient stories.
She helped organize the Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth (PARTY) Program at ThedaCare, and she received the Governor’s Safety Award for her involvement.
For these reasons, Witt-Hillen has earned a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award, which will be presented at the annual Alumni Awards Celebration on Friday, Oct. 21, as part of Homecoming 2016 festivities.
Catherine Schmitt, a colleague and friend of Witt-Hillen, said Witt-Hillen became aware through her work of the need to educate youth about poor choices related to alcohol and risk-taking behavior.
“She was instrumental in founding the PARTY Program,” Schmitt said. “For more than 10 years, she spent every Wednesday in a hospital classroom with local high school students, helping them understand the consequences of one night of poor choices.”
Schmitt said Witt-Helen helped plan PARTY at the Performing Arts Center to reach a larger audience.
Mark Coenen, a fellow ThedaStar flight nurse, said Witt-Hillen is not one to focus on her own accomplishments.
“She avoids the limelight and shifts the focus to the patient or other caregivers by saying ‘teamwork is what makes us all strong,’” Coenen said.
Witt-Hillen said she is proud of her expertise in nursing that allows her to mentor young nurses. She also enjoys writing stories about their patients’ courage and determination.
“I am proud to make a difference in patients’ lives, but they have made me a far better person,” Witt-Hillen said. “I have done a quarterly newsletter since 2005, using it as a forum for current nursing education, to highlight caregiver accomplishments and to inspire others with patient stories of courage and recovery.”
Witt-Hillen said UW Oshkosh provided her with the opportunity to serve humanity with a great sense of satisfaction and pride.
“My experience at UWO has made me a lifelong learner,” Witt-Hillen said. “I have a great zest still for knowledge and ongoing education.”
For more information about the Alumni Awards Celebration on Oct. 21, please contact the UW Oshkosh Alumni Relations Office at (920) 424-3449 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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