ADA — The Board of Directors of McCortney Family Hospice challenged its employees Sept. 20, 2005, to become experts in their field.

On Sept. 16, 2006, almost exactly one year later, Anne Payne-Reeves and Pia Williams sat for an exam that would prove they had done just that.

Six weeks later both of them were informed that they have been certified as Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses by the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses .

Six thousand nurses have received this certification since the first test was administered in 1999. There are currently only 136 Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses in the state of Oklahoma and, according to the NBCHPN website, Payne-Reeves and Williams are the only certified nurses in Pontotoc County.

Payne-Reeves received her bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Oklahoma in 1982 and became a registered nurse the same year. She started her hospice career with VistaCare Hospice in 1999, went on to work at Palliative Hospice Center in Seminole, and came on staff with McCortney Family Hospice as the director of professional services in December 2003. She is now vice president of clinical affairs for McCortney Family Hospice.

Williams received her bachelor’s in nursing from East Central University and received her Registered Nurse license in 2000. She started her nursing career as a licensed practical nurse in 1994 and has worked Home Health and Hospice almost exclusively since then. She had worked for three hospices in the area before becoming a RN Case Manager for McCortney Family Hospice in January 2005.

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