Dr. Katherine Lindgren, Director of the UTC School of Nursing and UC Foundation Professor, was honored as one of the Women of Distinction at the 27th Annual Women of Distinction awards luncheon, which benefits the American Lung Association of Tennessee and its mission to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. This annual event is a Chattanooga tradition created to honor accomplished women who have distinguished themselves within their family, career, and community.
Lindgren is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve Nurse Corp serving in Operation Desert Storm and in Saudi Arabia. She had many leadership roles in the Navy including Specialty Leader of Critical Care Nursing and Senior Nursing Executive. Lindgren came to UTC in 1999 and was appointed as Director of the School of Nursing in 2002.
“She had a lot of important leadership positions while in the Navy. She was ready for the job,” Dr. Mary Tanner, Dean of UTC College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies, said.
The UTC School of Nursing has flourished under Lindgren’s leadership. Among her accomplishments, Lindgren has assisted in increasing enrollment and adding new programs. The School now offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.
Lindgren has also created partnerships with several area hospitals to provide students with clinical experience. The school has partnered with the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Mississippi to offer a collaborative graduate program in Nurse Anesthesia.
“The University has always had a good school of nursing, but now it has a statewide and nationwide reputation that they’ve earned,” Tanner said.
Lindgren has also increased the amount of external funding and awards for the school. According to Tanner, before Lindgren’s appointment to director, the school netted about $250,000 dollars from external sources. Last year, the school had earned $6 million dollars in grant funding.
Those funds are used to support programs like the DREAMWork, (Diversity Recruitment and Education to Advance Minorities in the nursing Workforce), a program that seeks to to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who are underrepresented in the registered nursing workforce.
“Kay’s very creative. She’s a person who says, ‘I can’t see why we can’t do this.’ It’s been fun to work with her,” said Tanner.