PHOTO: Andrea LeClaire

Andrea LeClaire

The Eleanor C. Lambertsen Scholarship recipient has been a nurse for 32 years focusing on education and administration to proactively work with our mentally ill children and adolescents. Andrea initially received a bachelor of science degree in Psychology from Colorado State University. She changed to nursing after recognizing that the field provided her a wide range of opportunities with more immediate patient care responses. Andrea received her bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Colorado. She continued for her Master’s in Health Administration from the Executive Program at the University of Colorado, Denver. Her continuing interest in using education and administration led her to pursue a PhD in Nursing Health Care Systems at the College of Nursing, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center. She continues to maintain her board certification as a Nurse Executive: Advanced.

Andrea began her nursing career in pediatric orthopedics and moved up the administrative ladder becoming the Nursing Director of Ambulatory Orthopedics, Rehabilitation and Urology. She continued to advance in nursing administration and education becoming an Associate Director of Education and then Administrative Manager of Rehabilitation in Colorado. During her career growth, she also used her skills to fund-raise over half a million dollars in medical supplies for the interprofessional international medical mission “Nadiya.” Andrea directly participated in two of these medical missions to Ukraine in 1993 and 1998. For the last 15 years, she has worked with the mentally ill and staff who care for them. She has been a pediatric Service Line Director of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences spending the last three years as a Nursing Director for Adults, then Children and Adolescents, at an eating recovery center in Denver, Colorado.

Andrea continues educational presentations locally, nationally and internationally. She is moving into academia with a part-time teaching role for baccalaureate nursing students at the College of Nursing, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center. Andrea completed her PhD coursework, and she finds being a doctoral student has been mind-stretching, interesting, as she continually learns more than she imagined. She is very grateful for the support of her husband and children. Andrea is currently a doctoral candidate working on her PhD proposal. Andrea’s doctoral proposal focuses on a qualitative study of parents’ beliefs and attitudes about mental health treatment of their children. If untreated, mental health disorders can be devastating for individuals, their families and communities.

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