Eliza­beth R. Thomas, BSN, MN, ARNP of Seattle first attended Alabama State College, then received her prepa­ra­tion as a Licensed Practical Nurse at Good Samar­itan School of Nursing. She continued her educa­tion at Shore­line Commu­nity College where she received her Associate of Arts Degree. She received her Baccalau­reate Degree in Nursing Science from Seattle Univer­sity and was the first African American to complete the Pediatric Nurse Practi­tioner program at the Univer­sity of Washington School of Nursing and the first one to work as an ARNP in Seattle.

Eliza­beth has been an active, involved member of WSNA for over 28 years. She’s served on both the WSNA and KCNA Board of Direc­tors and was a founding member of the WSNA Nursing Foundation.

Eliza­beth was a Pediatric Nurse Practi­tioner for over twenty-five years before retiring from Odessa Brown Clinic to become self-employed as a health consul­tant. While at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, she was not only the famous clini­cian for teen mothers but also an avid commu­nity advocate for all youth and their families. Eliza­beth collab­o­rated with the King County Health Depart­ment to set up The Baby Buckle Program and was instru­mental in obtaining funding to sustain the program for years. She partic­i­pated on the steering committee to develop and assist with imple­men­ta­tion of the Washington State immuniza­tion law. This law is still in place and continues to impact the immuniza­tion status and health of all children.

Eliza­beth started the ongoing commu­nity parenting program, which provided positive parenting skills and is used by parents involved with the courts for Child Abuse and Neglect, and the teen outreach program at Washington and Meany Middle Schools in partner­ship with the Junior League and the National Council of Negro Women. This program was able to demon­strate that 30% of the young women involved in the program continued onto higher educa­tion. She’s been a preceptor for nursing students from all the major nursing schools in the Seattle area, as well as for physicians.

Eliza­beth is known to families, patients, and friends as an unsung hero who is totally committed to the well-being of all children. After receiving the Human Rights Award from the Seattle Chapter of the UN Associ­a­tion, Eliza­beth was sent to Rome to meet with Pope John Paul, where she continued to advocate for teens by openly debating the need for birth control to prevent teen pregnancy.

Eliza­beth’s many outstanding contri­bu­tions to nursing will be long remem­bered by her peers, clients, commu­ni­ties, schools of nursing, and nursing organi­za­tions. She is a true nursing role model.