Dr. Susan Reeves ’88, dean of the Colby-Sawyer College School of Nursing and Health Professions and Gladys A. Burrows Distinguished Professor of Nursing, shared her expertise while serving on the Governor’s Commission on Health Care Workforce, which released its final report Dec. 16.
Established in an executive order issued by former Gov. Maggie Hassan in April, the commission brought together 15 experts to address New Hampshire’s shortage of health care professionals. Represented by Dean Reeves, Colby-Sawyer was selected as the commission’s New Hampshire Higher Education Commission constituent.
The commission met monthly to discuss relevant publications, review data and hear testimony from community stakeholders before compiling their final report. The 38-page document includes short- and long-term recommendations to improve the health care workforce landscape in the state to better meet the needs of its citizens.
“While the Governor’s charge to the commission was daunting, I was impressed by the engagement of the group in proposing solutions,” said Dean Reeves. “I quickly came to appreciate that there is no shortage of creative and talented people who are working to make things better.”
A particular highlight for Dean Reeves was collaborating with Mike Ferrara, dean of the University of New Hampshire School for Health and Human Services. In July, Dean Reeves and Dr. Ferrara presented to the commission a report on educational opportunities for the health care and community support work force. They also created a lifecycle model to assist with the preparation and nurturing of healthcare professionals across a career, which Dean Reeves presented to the Executive Council in August.
Additionally, Dean Reeves provided content for the final report’s recommendations for professional education.
In her leadership role at Colby-Sawyer’s School of Health Professions, Dean Reeves has a proven track record of educating top-notch health care students. Since joining the faculty in 2007, she has strengthened a 30-year affiliation with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC). One hundred percent of the 2016 undergraduate nursing class passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) on their first attempt. Of the 33 graduates of the 2016 undergraduate nursing class, 27 are now employed as Registered Nurses in New Hampshire; 25 of them are at DHMC.
Dean Reeves held a variety of leadership positions at DHMC for 35 years before leaving the organization in 2014. She holds a B.S. with a major in nursing from Colby-Sawyer College, an M.S. with a major in nursing administration from the University of New Hampshire and an Ed.D. from the University of Vermont. She is a resident of New London and chair of the New London Hospital Board of Trustees.