Stigen named Rural Health Hero

December 7, 2021

Laurissa Stigen, MS, RN, system campus partnership and project coordinator at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and registered nurse at the Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls, was named the recipient of the 2021 Minnesota Rural Health Hero Award. The award, presented by the Minnesota Department of Health, is given to an individual who has made a significant contributions to improving rural health in Minnesota.

As system campus partnership coordinator, Stigen serves as a liaison between the School of Nursing and all the University of Minnesota system campuses to facilitate a pathway to nursing for students on those campuses. She also coordinates a project funded by the Minnesota Department of Health designed to increase and support psychiatric mental health advanced practice registered nurses in rural communities in Minnesota. There are now 10 rural communities that host 14 psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner students each year for extended periods of time.

“Laurissa’s knowledge and relationships have deepened the school’s ability to connect with students in rural Minnesota,” says Christine Mueller, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, senior executive associate dean for academic programs.

Stigen served as president of the Minnesota Rural Health Association and has championed efforts to expose rural teens to health professions. Through her vision and efforts, numerous nurses, physicians and other health care providers have returned to their home towns and served their communities, filling the much needed gap in health care.

As a registered nurse at Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls, the impact of Stigen’s work is evident in the health and wellbeing of patients in the Cardiac Rehabilitation program. Her high quality nursing includes nursing assessment and treatment, along with patient and family education that improves the quality of life of patients living with heart disease.

Known for her dedication to improving the health of rural populations, Stigen was selected to be a Fellow for the National Rural Health Association’s Rural Health Fellows program, a yearlong, intensive training program that develops leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for the future of rural America. Stigen's leadership and collaborative approach, coupled with health expertise and knowledge, has made a significant contribution to improving rural health in Minnesota.

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Media Contacts

Steve Rudolph
School of Nursing
https://nursing.umn.edu/news-events/stigen-named-rural-health-hero