Arlene Hett winner of Bethel nursing award

The Bethel Deaconess Hospital/Bethel College Nursing Alumni Association will present its Outstanding Alumnus Award to Arlene Hett, Hillsboro, at the annual Bethel College Alumni Association banquet on campus May 24.

Arlene (Peters) Hett graduated in 1969 from the Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing. She worked at Hillsboro Community Medical Center (formerly Salem Hospital) for almost 34 years in a variety of roles, including director of nursing for six years. Since June 2001, she has been employed as a nurse in the emergency department of Via Christi-St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, where she was honored both as Employee of the Month (after three months there) and Employee of the Year (after one year).

She continues to serve in the Hillsboro community by assisting ophthalmologist Terria Winn with cataract surgeries.

In addition to her years of employment in Hillsboro and Wichita, Hett worked for about a year as a house supervisor and medical floor staff nurse at St. Mary Hospital in Manhattan. She has been a certified lactation counselor since 1999 and has owned Best Beginnings, which provides lactation support and supplies to breast-feeding mothers, since 1998.

Arlene has been married to Al Hett, the safety and compliance officer at Countryside Feed in Hillsboro, for almost 37 years. They have four children and three grandchildren. Daughter Audrey and son-in-law Wayne Hodgson, Paola, are both Bethel graduates, as is son-in-law Grant Siemens, married to Suzanne, a surgical nurse at Hutchinson Hospital and a graduate of the Hesston College nursing program. Son Kevin will complete his nursing degree at Hutchinson Community College in May. Daughter Julie and Tyler Marsh, Del Rio, Texas, are both Tabor College graduates.

The Hetts are members of Trinity Mennonite Church in Hillsboro. They served on the Bethel Parents' Council when their daughter Audrey was a student.

Hett's HCMC co-workers Velma Hadley (a 1958 Bethel Deaconess Hospital nursing graduate) and Nancy Kaufman (a 1982 Bethel College nursing graduate) wrote in a letter nominating Hett as an outstanding alumna, "We are [deeply] appreciative of Arlene's contribution to our community and honored to have her represent us in the health care profession. She has given so much to us and the community that we desire for her to be recognized for her dedication and service to health care."

The BDH/BCNAA Outstanding Alumnus Award is given on the basis of dedication to the nursing profession, demonstrated leadership ability and creativity, and outstanding professionalism, to an alumnus who has promoted and elevated the general nursing image and is held in high regard by peers and the community.

Hett and other alumni award winners will be honored at 6 p.m. May 24 at the annual Alumni Banquet in Memorial Hall. Hett also will receive special recognition from the BDH/BCNAA Oct. 3, as part of the 2008 Fall Festival activities.