1st Annual WellSource Access to Care 5k

Event Date

Sat, May 2, 2015


Mason City, IA

About This Activity

"Bringing your whole health to mind".

The WellSource Access to Care 5k event focuses on working together to bring awareness to mental health in North Iowa by providing support to individuals and families affected by mental illness.  Our aim is to reduce the stigma associated with a mental health diagnosis along with identifying the many area service providers dedicated to serving this cause. By bridging gaps and developing relationships our hope is to build a healthier and more resilient community in North Iowa.

This year we wish to commemorate the Access to Care 5k and Wellness Walk to the late Jeff Abben, RN BSN who served as a Clinical Leader on 5 East at Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa. His life and work was dedicated to the treatment of individuals with a mental health diagnosis and finding practical and constructive solutions to keeping symptoms and stressors to a minimum. He had such a heart toward those in need and was a true servant leader. We will always hold him dear to our hearts remembering the abundant life that he lived and the legacy that he has left for us to continue.

 Jeffrey Abben spent his career helping to treat and advocate for patients with mental illness. He began his career in 1983 working as an orderly/care assistant at the Cerro Gordo County Home care facility, where he early on was introduced to patients with mental illness. Jeff advanced his career by earning his Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) degree from Iowa Central Community College in 1984, Registered Nurse (RN) degree in 1990, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2010. In March of 1988 he began his first (and only) nursing job with St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, now Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa, in the Behavioral Health in patient unit. Here, Jeff learned the complexities of mental health and delivered great care alongside a fantastic team of nurses, psych-techs, social workers, physicians, and too many more to be mentioned. He spent his career ensuring that he put effort into getting to know his patients, not just treating them like a number. As the thousands of patients that he interacted with over the decades will tell you, Jeff was never one to judge and looked past their mental illness and saw them for the good people they are. He truly wished that people could see past the stigma of mental health and see those patients as fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, co-workers, and neighbors - something that so many have a passion for, as Jeff did. Jeff passed away unexpectedly in February of 2014, but he is remembered by so many who’s lives he has impacted over the years.

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