Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Fairfield resident Chris Estle has been honored by her alma mater Indian Hills Community College, which bestowed upon her its Outstanding Alumnus Award.
Estle was among the recipients of the college’s annual Outstanding Service Awards, a tradition that has lasted 42 years and counting. The collegewide ceremony on Sept. 2 recognized an alumnus, a retiree, a lay citizen, two current employees, and a local development group.
“When the college reached out to tell me about the award, I thought, ‘Do they have the right person?’” Estle said. “I was shocked and humbled by that. I did cry when I received the award because it’s so emotional to hear people talk about you.”
Estle is a 1995 nursing graduate of the school. She said she chose Indian Hills because it was close and she liked its flexible schedule, which allowed her to take evening classes in arts and sciences. Once those classes were out of the way, she was able to focus on her nursing classes upon being admitted to the school’s nursing program.
After graduating from Indian Hills, she attended Iowa Wesleyan and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1999. She then went to work at Jefferson County Health Center, serving the health center in a number of roles during her tenure.
She held positions as a therapeutic staff nurse in the psychiatry unit, the cardiac rehabilitation manager, and education coordinator for the health center.
In 2007, Estle accepted the position of nurse administrator for Jefferson County Public Health. She provides leadership on public health issues and acts as an advisor to various organizations and committees while working to obtain community support.
After Washington County Public Health Administrator Danielle Pettit-Majewski announced she was stepping down this summer to take another job, Estle was hired as interim nurse administrator for Washington County Public Health. Today, Estle splits her time between Jefferson and Washington counties, while Washington County is searching for a permanent replacement for public health administrator.
Estle said it’s a challenge to manage two health departments at once, and she couldn’t do it without the support of great staffs in both counties. She said that, even though Jefferson and Washington are next door, their respective health departments offer different programs based on the grants each county has received.
The other people IHCC honored with service awards were Bob Morrissey, Mylo Wells, Noel Gorden, Carol Yochum, and the members of 1st Street Investors LLC.