Suzanne Wees has been named College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for September 2019. Wees, a full-time faculty member in the Professional Nursing program, began teaching at CWI in 2013 after returning to the Boise area from Tucson, Arizona.
Wees received her Associate of Science degree in Nursing from Boise State University in 1981. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Management, and Master of Science in Nursing Education from Grand Canyon University. She also holds a minor in Mandarin Chinese from Shanghai University and is currently completing a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Grand Canyon University. Her dissertation work centers on the care of the addicted healthcare professional and the cultural influences impacting recovery rates.
Wees moved to Shanghai, China, for several years to work on opioid addiction recovery programs. She was one of the first women invited to speak to inmates, physicians, and nurses inside several ‘heroin prisons’ in China. She has also spoken on addiction recovery at prisons in Malaysia and the Philippines.
To address the opioid epidemic here in Idaho, Wees founded, and is the Director of, the Idaho Neuroscience of Addiction Coalition (INAC). INAC is a group of healthcare professionals and community activists working to bring the latest research on the neuroscience of addiction to Idaho. The first INAC symposium was held at the Boise Centre in September and raised over $6,000 for scholarships for Idaho nurses who need addiction treatment/rehabilitation and education.
Suzanne believes in teaching CWI Nursing students the power of science combined with the power of compassionate patient care. She teaches courses in advanced medical/surgical nursing, mental health, simulation, and onsite clinical experiences.
In addition, the Board recognized Staff of the Month recipient, Alexis Malepeai-Rhodes, Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, and Student Achievement Award recipient, Angelica Vasquez, a Criminal Justice student and Latinx Mentor.