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The Good Stuff by Shelley Bennett

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

By Shelley Bennett

This week I would like to honor someone who has done lots of “good stuff” in our community: Connie Herman. Connie is a Family Nurse Practitioner who has taken care of many families in our area for many years. Her compassion and attention to detail make her one of the very best at her job.

Last Friday, she officially hung up her stethoscope and entered the world of retirement. (Even though, she assured me, she will be filling in at Dr. Meadow’s office from time to time.)

I first met Connie through her daughter Jessica in the mid 1990s. At the time, I don’t think I knew she was a nurse, just a sweet and dedicated mom who was helping her daughter through the Miss Lassen Co. pageant process. I was so impressed by Jessica. Her poise and sense of humor stuck with me and I was happy to see her as she popped into town on college breaks. (I now know that she got it from her mom.)

Fast forward to 2003. My son Landon burned his arm on a space heater which meant repeated trips to the doctor’s office to get it cleaned. If you’ve ever had to do that, you know it is very painful and an absolute nightmare with one-year old.

Connie was Landon’s angel. He would cry and scream and the tears and snot would run down his face, but she kept talking to him in her calming, controlled voice and by the end he trusted her. And I was forever indebted to her.

Since then, she has been by our side through a hospital stay with Landon, my pregnancy with Sofia, kindergarten shots, well baby checks, and sports physicals as the kids grew up.
Her kindness was so appreciated during these visits. I always knew she cared. She took time to listen, really listen and empathize with me. She offered advice and solutions, always asked about school, and became part of our lives.

When a mutual friend was diagnosed with cancer we shared tears during my appointment. She explained the different steps of treatment and what my friend would be going through while not leaving out the reality, as painful as it was.

She became more than our health care provider, she was a friend and part of our family. I remember standing in line at the pharmacy one time waiting to pick up a prescription. Another woman in line brought up Connie’s name and several of us chimed in to sing her praises.

Connie earned her RN in 1970 and became an FNP in 2000. Since that time, she has treated hundreds, maybe thousands, of locals in the ER and various offices around town. She has also volunteered with the Northern California Cancer Advocates, helping to organize fundraisers and support survivors and served as a Lassen High School board member for many years.

Mother to Jessica and Micah and grandmother to Alexander and Joshua, Connie will be kept very busy with her family in retirement. She told me that she is excited to not have an excuse to “not be there”. I’m sure her grandsons will enjoy many slumber parties, movie nights, and other outings with grandma. As daughter Jessica says, “she is the best FNP, she is an even better mom and grandma and quite the example to live up to.”

Connie-you deserve the best in this next stage of your life. We will all miss your steadiness, your ability to talk to us seriously one minute and deliver a hilarious one-liner the next. You are loved beyond measure and I wish you the best. Thank you for everything.

Remember when news was ‘newsy’? When you read about weddings, family events and engagement announcements in the newspaper? If you have something that might be newsworthy, please submit it to shelleybennett24@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to include it here in “The Good Stuff.”

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