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Communications Director Uses Advanced Education To Advocate For Healthcare

Katie Roe Ryan, Director of Communications and Public Policy for Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican, has personally experienced how the healthcare system can help families. Her mother was a nurse, so she grew up with healthcare being a part of almost every conversation at the dinner table.

(Photo Courtesy of Katie Roe Ryan)

(Photo Courtesy of Katie Roe Ryan)

However, her only sibling passed away from cancer at the age of 16 and it was a life-changing moment for Ryan. “I was 18, a new high school graduate, and I really needed to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I have always been interested in healthcare, but it would have been very difficult for me to get through organic chemistry and whatever other classes physicians and nurses need to become a practitioner,” she stated. “Talking suits me much better and I get to talk about what I love.

She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her Master of Professional Studies in political management from The George Washington University.

“After a short stint in partisan politics and working for national healthcare organizations in their home offices, I came back home to work for St. Rose. I’ve been here for almost two years and love every second of it.”

As the director of communications and public policy, 50 percent of her time is devoted to public relations, social media and other types of communication, and 50 percent of her time is spent on government affairs. Ryan was recently in Carson City, Nevada, for the Nevada State Legislative Session.

“Healthcare advocacy is my passion and I am so grateful to be working for an organization like St. Rose where helping the poor and disenfranchised is such an important piece of what they do. Many of my other colleagues work only on hospital business issues, but I get to be involved in other things like human trafficking, eco-justice, immigration reform and other issues that are important to our mission and ministry.”

According to Ryan, both of her degrees have really helped to shape her career and her master’s degree was life-changing. Ryan’s master’s degree was an applied study and her professors were top experts in their respective fields. The advance degree also focused on leadership, which are traits she will continue to use.

“There are many facets to public health and it’s not just clinical staff. And education is one of the best gifts you can give yourself,” Ryan said.

Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (37 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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