Forty in 40: Tammie Bertram '13
In honor of the 40th anniversary of McKendree University in Kentucky, the University is proud to recognize forty outstanding alumni who have graduated from the Radcliff and Louisville, Ky. campuses since 1974. Each week, starting on Sept. 1, 2013 and running through June 9, 2014, one outstanding alumnus will be profiled on the Kentucky home page.
Name: Tammie Bertram, MSN ’13
Hometown: Harrodsburg, Ky.
Current Position: Director of Nursing
Company: Franklin County Health Department in Frankfort, Ky.
How did you first become interested in nursing?
When I was 18 my mother had a cerebral aneurysm. They didn’t know what was wrong with her so for a week doctors thought she was having mental problems. She was sent to a hospital 150 miles away, and had complications after an aneurysm surgery. She was in the hospital for nine-plus month’s total, and was mentally and physically disabled until she died in a nursing home in 2005. I was influenced greatly by the nurses that took care of my mother. I wanted to be like them; I wanted to help people.
As a non-traditional student, what led you to pursue your college degree?
I quit high school at 16 and had two children to raise at 18. I obtained my GED certificate, and followed with a Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Medical Assistant and EMT certificates. I worked at factories and an ambulance service through college, and became the first one in my family to graduate from college in 1989 with an associate’s degree from Somerset Community College. I then finished my bachelors of nursing degree at Kentucky State University in 2004 and most recently my masters of nursing degree at McKendree.
List your professional accomplishments.
I was hired by the Franklin County Health Department in 1997. I began my career as a staff nurse and previously held positions at Barren River District Health Department and Lake Cumberland District Health Department. I received a Certificate of Public Health Leadership from the University of Kentucky in 2006 and completed a Public Health Nursing Certificate program also through the University of Kentucky in 2007. I received a Certificate of Achievement for Outstanding Professionalism from the Kentucky Nurses Association in 2003. I have been a member of the Kentucky Public Health Association since 1997 and I have served as the public health nursing committee chair. In 2013, the Franklin County Health Department was one of the first 11 health departments nationally to receive accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board and one of 38 health departments to receive a “Model Practices” award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials. We also recently received the first ever Gold Award from its professional affiliate, the National Association of Local Boards of Health.
What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
I have two children and four beautiful granddaughters. In my spare time I like to go boating and fishing and I love to travel.