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Nursing award winner has many years’ service in Hillsboro area

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - 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 Feeds 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 the annual Alumni Banquet Saturday, May 24, at 6 p.m. in Memorial Hall. Hett will also receive special recognition from the BDH/BCNAA Friday, Oct. 3, as part of the 2008 Fall Festival activities

All alumni and friends of Bethel are invited to the Alumni Banquet. Those making reservations will receive a discount if they do so with full payment by Friday, May 9. After that, all regular-price registrations must be received with payment by Wednesday, May 14.

Cost of the banquet is $16 per person if paying early, $18 regular price. To make a reservation, visit or phone Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center, Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 316-284-5205. Payment or credit card information is required when the reservation is made. (No refunds can be given after May 16, since the Alumni Office will have been charged for reserved meals by that date.) Attenders receive a personalized nametag at the door that serves as their banquet ticket.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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