Kari Firestone, Walla Walla University (WWU) professor of nursing and associate dean of the School of Nursing, has been appointed to the role of WWU COVID-19 response director by WWU president John McVay. In this new role, Firestone will lead a task force that will detail and implement plans related to COVID-19 on the WWU campus for fall quarter and beyond.
In early spring, WWU organized a COVID-19 emergency task force to help with immediate steps for online delivery of education during spring and summer. In early summer, the WWU Return-to-Campus Task Force was formed to carefully make preparations for students, faculty, and staff as they return to campus for fall quarter. As COVID-19 response director, Firestone will now lead a single task force focused on navigating today’s complex public-health climate and guiding the university through its approach to fall quarter.
Since early spring 2020, Firestone has served as WWU’s liaison with the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health, and she will bring expertise to issues that arise during fall quarter.
“Dr. Firestone has a strong and positive reputation at WWU as both an able academician and a skilled administrator, and we will be blessed by her direction as we care for our Walla Walla University family and the communities in which we serve,” said McVay.
Firestone has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Walla Walla University, a master’s degree in nursing education from Loma Linda University, and a doctorate in nursing from Oregon Health & Sciences University. She has clinical expertise in pediatrics, pain, symptom management, health promotion, and public/community health, and has in-depth experience in administering and researching public-health issues and writing policy for clinical settings.
Walla Walla University consists of five campuses in the Pacific Northwest, including College Place, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Anacortes, Washington; and Missoula and Billings, Montana.
— Aaron Nakamura is director of Marketing and University Relations for Walla Walla University.