Nurse Jeanette M. Spaulding and daughter Adjunct Professor Jeri Bigbee
Nurse Jeanette M. Spaulding and daughter Adjunct Professor Jeri Bigbee

Nursing runs in their veins

Several of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing faculty continue a family tradition of nursing. Theresa Harvath’s mother went to a diploma program to become a nurse and then went on to raise 10 children, of whom Harvath is the first to attend graduate school.

Now, as associate dean for academics, she oversees all the educational programs in the school. Adjunct Professor Jeri Bigbee is a second-generation nurse who takes deep pride in her rural roots and focuses on assuring that this disadvantaged population is never overlooked.

During a long career she has worked in California, but also in New York, Texas, South Carolina, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada and Alberta, Canada. Name a rural area in California, and she can quickly tell you whether it’s a “real rural” (frontier) area where the population is most scattered and the health needs most pressing.

Assistant Clinical Professor Virginia Hass is the daughter of a World War II Army Air Corps nurse who didn’t retire until the age of 85, at which point she was the oldest practicing nurse in California. Both Hass and her twin sister are nurse practitioners.

Dean Heather M. Young’s mom was also a nurse in her native South Africa. And then there are Assistant Clinical Professor Susan Adams and Professor Jill Joseph, both of whom can lay claim to great-great-grandmothers who delivered babies as lay midwives in the West — Adam’s during the early years of San Francisco and Joseph’s in the homesteading territory of Western Washington.