A longtime health care practitioner and community activist/advocate, Atkinson is widely acknowledged for her work with the less fortunate citizens of Utah, most recently serving as vice president of Mission Services for Intermountain Healthcare. A registered nurse, she earned nursing credentials at University College Hospital in London, a bachelor’s degree from the University of California and a master’s degree from the University of Washington.
Atkinson also will deliver the commencement address.
As vice president of Mission Services at IHC, Atkinson coordinated with community and government agencies to provide health care to the homeless and low-income populations in the Salt Lake City area. In addition, she partnered with schools to meet the social and health-care needs of low-income students.
Atkinson, who believes even the smallest amount of giving and caring can have a powerful impact, volunteers with medical teams at homeless camps and provides support to charitable clinics. A servant-leader, she helped mobilize an army of volunteers within the IHC group and the community at large.
Atkinson also has significantly influenced educational developments in Utah, serving on the State Board of Regents, the Utah State Board of Education and the Utah College of Applied Technology. In these positions, she advocated for the development of a continuum of education that would provide training and educational opportunities for individuals from every background and circumstance.
In addition, Atkinson has served on the State Homeless Coordinating Committee and the boards of the Coalition for Utah’s Future, Catholic Community Services and the Homeless Youth Resource Center.
Atkinson has received numerous awards as a volunteer and community advocate, including the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce Athena Award, the Catholic Community Services’ Community Service Award, the American Red Cross’ Good Samaritan Award, the Utah Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Woman of Achievement Award and the Salt Lake City Kiwanian of the Year Award.
In 2002, Atkinson was honored with a resolution from the Utah State Legislature recognizing her service. One year later, the legislature renamed the state’s homeless trust fund after her, and the Fourth Street Clinic renamed itself to bear her name.
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