Indiana State nursing alumna
Assistant professor of nursing at University of Arkansas,
April 16, 2013
University Hall Theater
"Serving Through Giving: A Lifetime of Servant Leadership"
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Indiana State University Nursing Program
A former surgical nurse at Union Hospital, Pam Blesch has been a nursing faculty member at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith since 2000. She is featured in “Giving through Teaching: How Nurse Educators are Changing the World.” The book tells the stories of 70 nursing educators and their students who give of their time, talents and skills to help others.
Since her journey to Burundi in 1975, Blesch has continued to heed the call to serve, traveling to such countries as Senegal, Gambia, Colombia, Ecuador and Ukraine. These days, she is the nurse who inspires a new generation of students. In 2009, she took nursing students from Fort Smith to Uganda.
The 2010 book featuring Blesch describes her as “a shining light who epitomizes caring that goes beyond the walls of a classroom or a hospital. Because she volunteers her time and provides health care in the global environment, she is often characterized – as much by her students as her colleagues – as a missionary.
The label of missionary is one Blesch is proud to wear. In addition to addressing the medical needs of people she serves in other countries, her volunteer efforts give her the opportunity to “spread the gospel a little bit as well as impact health care.” Her summer journeys are in conjunction with religious organizations, including the World Gospel Church and Southern Baptist Convention.
Blesch mirrors the same humanitarian spirit in her community that she displays internationally. She serves on the board of directors of the Terre Haute-based Froderman Foundation which promotes religious, educational, medical and/or charitable causes. She has also served on the board of Hannah House, a faith-based residence for pregnant and troubled young women in Fort Smith.
Blesch attended Gerstmeyer Technical High School for its final two years and was part of the first graduating class of Terre Haute North Vigo High School. In addition to her bachelor’s degree, she holds a master’s from Indiana University and is pursuing a Ph.D. from Capella University.