For the past 25 years, Sue Dixon has been making the drive from Bend to Madras to work in public health.
A board-certified women's health nurse practitioner with over 38 years of experience providing health care to women, Dixon reached her 25th year at Jefferson County Public Health Department in June this year.
The Jefferson County PHD staff and the Board of County Commissioners congratulated her during the July staff meeting.
"She is one of the very few to have served this long as a public health provider in the state of Oregon, and has been the longest service provider at our health department," said Tom Machala, JCPHD director.
In addition to the current family planning services in Madras, in the past Dixon has also provided services on the Warm Springs Reservation and at the school-based health clinic.
Dixon recalled her first day of work at the county in June 1987, when her director took her up to Madras Medical Group to meet Dr. Doug Lieuallen, then the public health officer for the county.
Dr. Lieuallen took her by the hand and said "Now, you're not going to leave us the minute you get a job in Bend, are you?" She shook his hand and said "Lieuallen I already have another job in Bend. I'm here because I always want to work in the public sector."
Dixon provides annual women's preventative health examinations and family planning needs to all women based upon ability to pay, and with or without insurance.
Dixon said, "It's preventative care because women are given education for planning a family, weight and vitamin issues, encouragement not to use tobacco, drugs and alcohol, STI prevention and treatment, and many other issues affecting women."
If the exams are not normal or other needs arise from them, Dixon makes arrangements and referrals to local providers.
She plans to continue her care of women at JCPHD and wishes to thank all her fellow workers, past and present, for making her job one she has always looked forward to doing.
"One doesn't think of being in one place this long, but this job has been a real beauty, and I continue to be so very fortunate in my work, my clients, and my co-workers," she said.