Due to her work providing healthcare to individuals in rural communities and the establishment of the Harmony Hill Retreat Center, the Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses (AAPPN) has recently created a Gretchen Schodde Lifetime Achievement Award. Schodde, the namesake and a nurse practitioner, was the first individual to be bestowed with this honor in April of 2011. According to the AAPPN, this award will continue to be used to recognize exceptional nurses in the future.
The Harmony Hill Retreat Center in Union, Washington, was founded by Schodde more than 25 years ago. The facility is now one of just a handful of practices in the U.S. that offers services to cancer patients and their families free of cost.
According to the Kitsap Sun newspaper, Schodde entered into a master's in nursing program in the 1960s, citing the need that many individuals in her community had for a primary care provider as her motivation. Following graduation, Schodde became one of the first two nurse practitioners in the state of Washington.
"In this state, there were so many rural communities that didn’t have a physician and really needed a primary healthcare provider," Schodde told the news source.