Sharon Baker, 2014 Section Challenge Winner

“I’ve always wanted to attend AWHONN’s Annual Convention.  There’s so much there,” said Sharon Baker, RN.  A member of the Oregon Section, Sharon received a complementary registration to the 2015 Convention thanks to her Section’s success in the 2014 Every Woman, Every Baby Section Challenge. The Challenge is a grassroots, Section–led fundraising effort to support the work of AWHONN through its Every Woman, Every Baby fund.

The Oregon Section has won the Challenge twice, both times for having had the greatest participation rate based on a percentage of their total Section membership. The California and Virginia Sections have each won the Challenge for having raised the most in donations. “Our Section talked a lot about the importance of supporting Every Woman, Every Baby at our state conference,” said Sharon, who serves on the Oregon Section Annual Convention Committee.

“Receiving the registration was huge because I would not have otherwise been able to go to the Convention,” said Sharon, who has been a member of AWHONN for eleven years.  “The AWHONN Annual Convention is a smorgasbord! You can choose your own individual learning experience, and the presentations and the posters were all so fabulous.  I was able to bring back information to use at work,” she said.  A graduate of Lane Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, Sharon has been a Labor and Delivery Nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center nearly all of her 30-year career. Sharon serves as a Value Analysis Representative for Women’s and Children’s Services and as a Preceptor for nursing students, among many other professional activities.  She and her husband, Dan, a land surveyor, have a son, two daughters and five grandchildren, all of whom live in Oregon.  “There isn’t a day I regret going into nursing,” said Sharon.

Since the launch of the Every Woman, Every Baby fund in 2013, AWHONN Sections have raised nearly $150,000 to help improve care for late preterm infants, increase breastfeeding, champion spontaneous labor and encourage healthier habits for women at every stage of life. Donated funds have also supported Novice Researcher Grants and scholarships to attend the AWHONN Annual Convention.

“Going to the conference was truly a gift.  I love learning and I had a lot of fun,” Sharon continued.  “Here’s what I recommend for first time Convention attendees: put on your walking shoes and don’t feel limited.  Try a variety of educational programs because there is so much to do.”

“AWHONN state and national conventions show attendees that there are so many areas of growth and participation that can be pursued,” said Sharon.  “Remember those ‘Create Your Own Adventure’ stories the kids read in grade school?  AWHONN is kind of like that. You can create your own adventure by participating, finding your niche, learning, contributing and sharing. You can see the value in your AWHONN membership.”