JOHN DAY - Shawna Clark loves to learn - both in the classroom and on the job with her patients.
"I like knowing the people and building relationships with them," she said, admitting with a big smile, "I love to talk - That's why my schedule gets behind."
Clark's enthusiasm for people and for medicine is apparent in her job as the family nurse practitioner (FNP) at Strawberry Wilderness Community Clinic at Blue Mountain Hospital in John Day. She joined the staff Aug. 1, 2011.
Clark, 36, came to the job with extensive background in acute care and emergency services nursing - she was a registered nurse for several years before becoming an FNP - as well as roots in Eastern Oregon.
She was raised in Medical Springs, near Baker City, and earned her associate degree in nursing at Treasure Valley Community College, a bachelor's degree in nursing at Brigham Young University-Idaho, and a master's degree/Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Idaho.
She expects to complete her doctorate in nursing this year from University of Utah. While she enjoys being a student, she also has spent time teaching, sharing her nursing knowledge in both classroom and online settings.
She learned about the clinic job opportunity in John Day from colleagues, Drs. Zach Bailey and David Hall. She had worked with both of them before, and they thought she might be interested.
Clark and her husband, Brent raise cattle and horses, so she liked the idea of a rural, friendly community where he could ranch and she could continue her nursing career.
Clark said she's enjoying the variety of her job and the camaraderie with the staff. She also enjoys the twice-monthly "field trips" in Long Creek and Monument, where she and medical assistant Jane Jennings conduct Strawberry Wilderness Community's satellite clinics.
The clinics started up Sept. 14. The goal is to serve residents in the remote communities who can't easily get to John Day for medical appointments.
When Clark isn't working, she enjoys riding horses, doing rawhide braidwork, and puttering on home improvement and yard projects. She and Brent have two daughters - Oaklee, 10, and Allie, 7 - and they live in the Mt. Vernon area.