Hannah Horn grew up in Chicago but considers Ashland to be her hometown after living here for 35 years. Hannah is retiring in 2016 after a 41 year nursing career. Nursing has been an ideal and extremely rewarding profession for her. However, since her nursing studies were primarily sciences and medical/nursing, she decided in mid-life to attend SOU to broaden her horizons with a liberal arts education. She earned her BS in International Studies/Spanish in 2000.
With the confidence and skills gained at SOU, after graduation, she worked for Doctors Without Borders and lived in Uzbekistan for a year. She also served for many years as part of the leadership team at La Clinica (local safety net healthcare clinics which serve many immigrants from Mexico and other countries). She is currently working as an RN in Resource Management for Rogue Regional Medical Center. Says Hannah of her SOU experience, “Going back to school in my 40s, I was usually the oldest person in my class and often older than my professors. It was really fun. I got to know the next generation in a way that gave me a lot of hope for the future. I met so many wonderful young people. They accepted me as sort of a mom in the class, which was a pleasure. We learned from each other and when we did group projects, I think we all benefited from working with a wide range of ages.”
Hannah volunteers for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) in Jackson County. She says, “There are so many children in the Rogue Valley (around 500) in the DHS system, in which parents have lost custody of their kids. As a CASA, I’m an advocate for my assigned child/children) and help tie a lot of pieces together. As I understand it, over 90% of the time, these situations arise because of drug use by the parents and the children are caught in the middle. It’s extremely rewarding to have the opportunity to support the children living that experience every day.”
Hannah’s nursing profession has been extremely beneficial as a CASA. She says, “My work with addiction and drug treatment helps me a lot in relating to these parents. I see addiction as a condition; they aren’t necessarily bad people. When you approach it like that, you actually have a lot more hope of supporting the parents in staying on track in their recovery and regaining custody of their children. But if they don’t, then steps have to be taken to find a permanent place for their children. CASA is typically with them for that whole process, about a year and a half or two years. We make regular home and school visits, follow them medically if needed, collaborate with everyone involved, write reports to the court and attend all court hearings and DHS family safety meetings. If they’re in family court, we go to court every week with them because they’re getting intensive intervention. I received excellent training and receive superb support from the CASA staff. It’s very rewarding. More CASAs are very much needed. There are hundreds of kids who are waiting and in need.
When not serving others in the health care profession and her dedicated volunteer service, Hannah enjoys hiking, backpacking and international travel with her husband.