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Meet Extraordinary Nurse Kristin Rowden, 2024 Care Coordination Nurse of the Year

“With exceptional clinical and communication skills, Kristin engages patients and families after being discharged to address their needs, avoiding readmissions and helping them feel comfortable after leaving the hospital,” said a Fresno Medical Center colleague who nominated Kristin for the award.

Kristin Rowden, MSN, RN, PHN, joined Kaiser Permanente in September 2015. Today, as an on-site liaison for the Continuing Care Department in the Fresno service area, she helps improve care coordination, timely discharge, and repatriation of members admitted to non-Kaiser Permanente hospitals. From placing referrals to skilled nursing facilities, to ordering durable medical equipment, she does whatever is needed to ensure patients receive the appropriate care.

“Kristin is an excellent resource to other liaisons, assisting with coordination cases with the goal that no patient falls through the cracks,” said her nominator.

Inspiration for Nursing

“I wanted to work in health care since I was 15, when I got a job at a doctor’s office,” Rowden said.

“While in nursing school, I was a teacher’s aide, a mentor, and a Veteran’s Administration extern,” explains Rowden. “My passion for supporting and caring for others continues through my role at Kaiser Permanente.”

Rowden shares how she was inspired by her colleague. “Recently, a colleague advocated for a member to go home for hospice care. With my colleague’s hard work, the member went home and later passed away surrounded by loved ones, the way the member wanted.”

Leading with Purpose

“I lead with purpose by focusing on the patient, listening to their concerns, and aligning my care with their goals,” said Rowden.

“Kristin is a game-changer in ensuring our patients have timely discharges from our partner hospitals or can come back to us in Kaiser Permanente Fresno sooner,” said Dr. Kevin Martinez, assistant physician in chief at the Fresno Medical Center.

Delivering Care Excellence

Her approach is reinforced in her Extraordinary Nurse nomination where it’s described that after meeting with a patient and their family, who was overwhelmed and resistant to engaging, she stayed the course to coordinate their discharge. “Kristin remained calm, listened, and did not allow emotions to take over. After following through with the planned coordination, the family expressed appreciation for Kristin’s professionalism and compassion despite heightened emotions,” said her colleague.

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