20 under 40: Olivia Scheele sees nursing career take on a new role in Moffat County
The last year has been a busy one for Moffat County Public Health Nurse Olivia Scheele.
It’s safe to say it’s not a year she knowingly signed up for — the workload and the general stress that the COVID-19 pandemic brought on has been incredible for public health workers nationwide.
Through it all though, Scheele – dubbed the “COVID Lady” by the Craig Press in the summer of 2020 — has been front and center, taking care of patients left and right in the community, testing and vaccinating as many as possible to help Moffat County get a handle on the pandemic.
Helping people is what Scheele has done for years in Moffat County, from delivering babies to serving as the clinic manager of Northwest Colorado Health in Craig and Steamboat, everything she’s accomplished professionally has occurred right here in Moffat County.
Personally, Scheele met her husband, Nathan, here after moving from Kremmling in 2011, graduated from CNCC, and has created a home here in Moffat County.
For that, she’s proud to call this corner of Colorado home and looks forward to serving the community in other ways from a health standpoint once COVID-19 is under control.
What is on your playlist? You will find anything from Frank Sinatra, Five Finger Death Punch, Lady Gaga and Garth Brooks!
Describe yourself in 3 words: Passionate. Dedicated. Leader.
Best book you have read? “The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion” by Christopher Germer
What’s your favorite go-to local dish? Poutine Fries at our local brewery!
What is it about Moffat County that sticks out to you when you think of home? I have lived in three different small towns throughout my life and Craig is the most home to me. I moved here Spring of 2011 from my home town of Kremmling and have never looked back. My best accomplishments and most cherished memories happened here. I went to nursing school here at CNCC, my nursing career has been strong and diverse in the area which has allowed me to meet and care for so many amazing people in Moffat County and build amazing partnerships both personally and professionally. I love going anywhere in the area and knowing most people and being able to share in the day to day. Best of all, I met my husband Nathan here, who was born and raised here. We have been married 5 years and I couldn’t ask for anything more!
What are you most proud of when it comes to your personal or professional accomplishments here? Professionally, I am most proud of the career experience I have earned while living in Moffat County. My entire nursing career is enveloped in Craig and I have had the privilege of learning from some amazing nurses in many fields. I was hired as Moffat County’s first Public Health RN in December of 2019 and since, I have quickly become a representative for our county and advocated for the wellbeing of us all. I am honored that many look to me for information and guidance and have trusted me with your situations both big and small over the past year in my current role, and in my past roles. I believe personal accomplishments are more important than professional ones. Life lessons, two steps forward and one step back situations are what make you who you are. They allow you go grow so you can achieve your professional achievements. None of us are perfect and I have the courage and humility to attest to it. I am proud of who I have become because of the many strife’s I have encountered and overcome. Anyone has the power to overcome and be you who want to be!
How do you hope to grow both personally and professionally in 2021? If you read the paper June of 2020, I was named “The COVID Lady.” (LOL). I hope to be able to move on from COVID in 2021 and focus on the equally important but more locally impacted areas of public health such as mental health, maternal child health, substance abuse, immunizations and OTHER communicable diseases that are still happening in the area other than Coronavirus. In 2021 I will complete my certification to be a board certified infection control and preventionist allowing me to offer my expertise in the field to more facilities in the county as I have done unofficially in my role with Public Health during the pandemic. I will be able to offer official assessments of facilities, provide disease surveillance, and give recommendations and follow up action items to assure everyone is participating in their crucial roles to prevent the transmission of a slue of infections disease. Personally, my husband and I will continue with our long weekend camping trips to Ute Lodge as often as we can with our two dogs and always set aside time for some R&R even if we are at home. We have both learned this year that it is more important than ever to cherish the little things and always set boundaries for yourself. This had made our relationship stronger and more concrete. Unplugging from the world is a great reset button and in these times, everyone needs self-compassion and self-care.
What is the best business advice you have ever received? I had a phenomenal mentor and supervisor while I was the clinic manager of Northwest Colorado Health in Craig and Steamboat. Her name is Gisela Garrison. She opened my eyes and taught me so many lessons in and out of work. The best advice I learned from her was to “always sleep on it.” Any decision big or small will have a profound affect on the given situation. She taught me to never make rash decisions and take time to ponder.
With people looking to move out of the city and into smaller communities, what advice would you give to those 40 and under moving to Moffat County? I would advise those moving to the area to come with an open mind. A very open mind. Some people don’t recognize it right away, but Moffat County is extremely diverse. When you take the time to show interest and learn about the people around you, you will realize that you have a lot more in common than what meets the eye.
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