Porter County Health Department’s Director of Nursing Connie Rudd Hannon has always had a knack for nurturing.
“I grew up on a dairy farm, and I loved taking care of the animals. I just seemed to like the care and nurturing parts of it. I think it was that and my parents’ influence that first got me into nursing,” Rudd Hannon said.
Rudd Hannon attended nursing school after graduating from high school, and she received a diploma from Parkview Methodist School of Nursing in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1974. Originally from Fulton County, Rudd Hannon moved to Porter County in 1978 after a brief time overseas.
In 1985, Rudd Hannon picked up a part-time job at an immunization clinic run by Porter County Government. Her youngest child was two years old, and she decided it was the right time to get back to doing what she loved professionally. She accepted a full-time position with the health department in March of 1997.
Having held many roles since starting with the Porter County Health Department, Rudd Hannon has thoroughly enjoyed serving Porter County. Over the years, she has worked in several areas of the field including surgical nursing, podiatry, periodontics, and more. Her experience led her to eventually become a nursing supervisor and later the director of nursing in December 2001. She has held that position ever since.
Rudd Hannon has spent over 40 years with the health department, but she says she always cherishes the moments shared among patients and colleagues throughout the day. These moments are her motivation to keep pushing to be the best she can be.
“I try to do my best every day. I come to work, get up, show up, engage, and work hard. I haven’t done everything perfectly, but I have enjoyed my time here with Porter County and all of the people that I consider friends,” Rudd Hannon said. “Our health department has been a safety net for a lot of people for a lot of years, and it's very gratifying to see that.”
Rudd Hannon’s dedication to her community has not gone unnoticed—especially by those at the State Department of Public Health. During a statewide fall symposium in October, she was honored with the State Health Commissioner's Award for Excellence in Public Health. The award is the highest public health honor in the state.
Commissioner Dr. Lindsay Weaver presented Rudd Hannon with the award, and she was greeted with a standing ovation as she received it.
“I was pretty shocked and surprised,” Rudd Hannon said.
Throughout her career, Rudd Hannon has had the opportunity to serve in leadership positions for various organizations and meet other professionals who share her passion for healthcare. She feels that these connections, alongside her team’s determination to progress toward the future with the health department, have been major factors in her determination to constantly improve the way she cares for her patients.
“I was president of the Indiana Public Health Association for two terms. With that kind of a role, you meet and network with a lot of people. I think that, and the reputation of the Porter County Health Department being so solid and positive, was a big part of the award,” Rudd Hannon said.
The Porter County Commissioners want to congratulate Connie on a well-deserved award.
“We are so proud of her, the work she has done and the people she has helped throughout her career," said Porter County Commissioner Barb Regnitz.
When she’s not serving residents of Porter County, Rudd Hannon can likely be found outside. Whether it’s hiking or tending to her garden, she would much rather be outdoors than stuck inside all day.
To learn more about the team at Porter County Government, visit www.porterco.org.