With an unwavering passion to make a difference in nursing education, Nancy Ridenour, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, FAAN, has been named the Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Endowed Dean and Professor at Goldfarb School of Nursing. This honor complements Dr. Ridenour’s role as president of Barnes-Jewish College.
During a ceremony on Feb. 8, marked by Goldfarb faculty and distinguished guests dressed in full regalia, Dr. Ridenour was officially installed by Rich Liekweg, president and chief executive officer of BJC HealthCare, and Bob Cannon, president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and group president of BJC HealthCare.
"Dr. Ridenour’s commitment to excellence in nursing education and her strong leadership experience at the national level make her the ideal person to advance Goldfarb and elevate its role in preparing the very best nurses to address the complex health care needs of the future,” Liekweg says.
The chair Dr. Ridenour now holds was established in 2006 by Maxine Clark and Bob Fox through The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Education has been a hallmark passion for the husband-wife team. Both are entrepreneurs who value initiative and innovation. Founder of Build-a-Bear Workshop, Clark serves on the board of both Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Goldfarb, among other local and national organizations. Fox is founder and retired CEO of NewSpace, founder of Casa de Salud and the St. Louis Mosaic Project, and he is involved in several other education-focused organizations.
“Maxine and Bob have made an extraordinary investment in Goldfarb and in the education of thousands of health care professionals who make a difference for patients every single day,” Bob Cannon says. “We’re grateful for their generosity that allows us to enrich the education curriculum and recruit exceptional leaders such as Dr. Ridenour to Goldfarb.”
Dr. Ridenour likened her new position at Goldfarb to the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition, calling it the “Clark and Fox Expedition.” A native of Colorado and previously dean and professor at University of New Mexico College of Nursing, Dr. Ridenour journeyed east to Goldfarb in St. Louis where her focus is on educating the best people to become the best nurses.
“More than ever, nurses are playing a critical role in delivering comprehensive, compassionate and cost-effective health care,” Dr. Ridenour says. “At Goldfarb, our role is to best prepare these nurse by providing a premier education supported by research opportunities, clinical experiences and exceptional faculty. Ultimately, we are charting a new course to meet the growing health care demands we face now and in the future. I’m excited to guide Goldfarb into this new frontier and am grateful for donors like Maxine and Bob who make this and so much more possible.”
Dr. Ridenour holds a PhD in human development and family studies from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, along with a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree from the College of Nursing, University of Colorado in Denver.