At the top of her field

Panhandle Health District Home Health nurse Mary Clarke top in state

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Panhandle Health District R.N. Mary Clarke, chosen as Idaho's top Home Health nurse, works with patient Millie Francis earlier this year.

Mary Clarke, a registered nurse with Panhandle Health District's Home Health division, is among the top 50 home health and hospice nurses in the nation.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice announced Clarke's top nurse status in its Caring magazine.

Val Halamandaris, president of the association, said the nurses featured in Caring meet strict criteria established by NAHCH and its affiliate, Home Healthcare Nurses Association, and are among the best.

Clarke is featured in the magazine as the top home health nurse for Idaho. Clarke has worked in home health for PHD since 2007. Home health nurses provide professional care to patients confined to their homes. They educate patients and families on disease process, medication management and the skills necessary for a patient to regain as much independence as possible.

Clarke was featured for her work with Millie Francis, a Hayden woman who was recovering at home after major surgery.

Clarke trained as an Emergency Medical Technician before becoming a registered nurse. A former Formula car racer, Clarke worked as an EMT at tracks throughout the western United States.

She worked in the trauma unit at University Medical Center Level One Trauma Center in Las Vegas, where she earned certification as a critical care nurse. Her work in one emergency response was included in an episode of the real-life show "Trauma: Life in the ER."

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