Amy Barton

University of Colorado Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Roderick Nairn, PhD, recently announced the appointment of Amy Barton, RN, PhD, professor and associate dean for clinical and community affairs at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, to the Daniel and Janet Mordecai Endowed Chair in Rural Health Nursing, in the College of Nursing. The endowed chair was funded by a $1.9 million gift from Janet Mordecai in 2007 that included four graduate student Rural Health Nursing Endowed Fellowships.

“This gift from the Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation will provide wonderful opportunities for the new Chair to work with nursing educators, clinicians, and rural health leaders in enhancing health services and strengthening the rural health workforce for the people of Colorado,” said Patricia Moritz, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing. “The selection of Dr. Barton is a wonderful choice to continue to expand the focus on rural health within the College.”

Barton has brought strength and leadership to the College of Nursing through her extensive work in sustaining nurse-managed clinics both locally and nationally with a focus on the underserved. She also has provided faculty development workshops throughout rural and urban areas of Colorado to advance nursing education with an emphasis on patient care quality and safety, and she is a campus leader in expanding Inter-Professional Education among all of the health professions’ schools.

As the college’s newly appointed Rural Health Nursing chair, Barton sees great opportunities to enhance and increase the future nursing workforce of the state of Colorado by developing nursing faculty in the rural areas of the state. Her vision includes working with Colorado’s regional Area Health Education Center (AHEC) directors as well as initiating a network with the Mordecai Rural Health Fellows to develop a plan for better access to health care and nursing education in rural Colorado.

“I am honored by this appointment,” said Barton. “Nurses care for patients and their families every day across Colorado. I look forward to working with my colleagues at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and with other health care leaders to enhance the nursing workforce.”

Barton directs Sheridan Health Services, a nurse-managed clinic serving diverse, low-income clients. She serves as project director for Colorado Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN), a state-wide initiative funded by the Colorado Trust; and she is the National Nursing Faculty Advisor for the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation/Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School initiative: Retooling for Quality and Safety.

Barton is widely published in the areas of faculty practice, patient outcomes, quality and safety, and informatics. A 2005 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow, she is currently chair-elect for the Board of the National Nursing Centers Consortium and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the American Nurses Association, and the American Medical Informatics Association. Barton is a Distinguished Practitioner in the National Academies of Practice and a Fellow in the Western Academy of Nurses. She earned a BSN from the University of Toledo, an MSN from the Medical College of Ohio, and her PhD from the University of Florida.

Donor Janet Mordecai, BS ’65, commented on her funding of the rural health chair: “I am honored to have been given the privilege of endowing the University of Colorado College of Nursing with its first chair in rural health nursing. Since attending this college from 1960-65, I have been drawn to “give back” to an institution that afforded me a quality education and strong base for my career pathway. My early career was focused in Public Health Nursing where I saw the critical need for nurses to be a vital part of care delivery in rural areas. Working in the federally funded migrant labor camp in Ft. Lupton, Colo., opened my eyes to the special needs of rural Colorado. Now, some 45 years later, there is no longer a migrant labor camp in Ft. Lupton, but there still remains a critical need for care in rural communities that are stretched to the limit in terms of being able to attract and retain qualified medical and nursing personnel.”

Mordecai also noted: “It is my hope that this rural health chair will be able to collaborate with rural communities to develop programs that will increase the numbers of qualified teaching faculty in their colleges and become a model nationally for other colleges and universities. In addition, it is hoped that this program can attract nursing leaders to help solve both the education needs and the nursing and medical shortages in rural areas.”

Located at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., the University of Colorado College of Nursing offers some of the highest ranked programs in the country — from bachelor’s through doctoral degrees and post-graduate certificate programs. The college offers several specialties through its master’s program and the only PhD program in clinical research in Colorado. It also is the birthplace of nurse practitioner education and the caring movement, and was one of the first schools in the country to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. For more information, visit the UC Denver Newsroom.

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