CSU, Chico News

Nursing Professor and Founder of Better Babies to Receive Distinguished Emerita Award

Date: 05-11-2009

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Sherry Fox
School of Nursing

The College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico will recognize the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of Professor Gwin Richter over the course of her career with the award of Distinguished Emerita at a reception on Tuesday, May 19 at 4 p.m. in the Physical Sciences Courtyard on the CSU, Chico campus.

Richter served as a professor in the School of Nursing for 35 years, from 1971 to 2006. In 1991, Professor Richter founded and has served as director of Better Babies Inc., a prenatal center that is part of the California Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program. She has been a certified childbirth educator through Lamaze International since 1965 and is also a certified lactation educator through the University of California, San Diego. Professor Richter worked as a per diem staff nurse in Obstetrics at Enloe Medical Center from 1971 to 1992.

While at Chico State, Richter taught courses in maternal-child nursing, theory and practicum, family nursing, nursing role and foundations of nursing. She currently teaches the School of Nursing’s online course, Current Concepts Baccalaureate Nursing. She designed and wrote the maternity portion of the course and now teaches the entire course for registered nurses who are returning to CSU, Chico for the bachelor of science degree. She also teaches a special problems course, Protecting Normal Birth, for students interested in supporting women in labor and becoming OB nurses or nurse midwives.

Better Babies is a Service Learning Center in which students learn nursing and teach clients while performing a community service to low-income pregnant and postpartum women and their babies. Better Babies provides the support services portion of prenatal care funded by Medi-Cal for the patients of obstetricians and certified nurse midwives in Chico and surrounding communities. Under Professor Richter’s direction, more than 1,000 nursing students have worked with more than 5,000 women during the past 18 years. In serving local clients, Richter regularly collaborates with Opt for Fit Kids, WIC (Women, Infants and Children), Catalyst, Rape Crisis Center, Touchstone, the Butte County Public Health Department and other agencies.

“Professor Richter has been an inspiration to thousands of students, as well as to her many colleagues. Professor Richter mentors many students interested in going to graduate school to become nursing faculty, or to practice obstetric and neonatal nursing, midwifery and medicine,” said Dr. Sherry Fox, director of the School of Nursing. “Many of her students are now OB nurses and certified nurse midwives, both locally and elsewhere. Several students have gone to medical school. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this recognition than Professor Richter. Her dedication and commitment to the health of local mothers and babies is life-changing for her clients and inspirational to all who know her.”

Donations to a fund in her honor to benefit the Childbirth Education Media and Models Training Program may be sent to the School of Nursing, care of Dr. Sherry Fox, CSU, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0200. Checks may be made out to “CSU, Chico, University Foundation.”

Last year’s inaugural award was given to Dr. Wes Dempsey, Biological Sciences.