For nearly five decades, Frankie T. Manning, MSN, RN has dedicated herself to public service through a nursing career spent in a number of roles within the U.S. Depart­ment of Veteran Affairs, on profes­sional boards, as a faculty member for several academic nursing programs and through her service in the U.S. Army.

She began her career in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a staff nurse on a medical-surgical ward for African American patients. She has had assign­ments in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps as head nurse, nursing super­visor, director of quality improve­ment, Chief Nurse and Director of Educa­tion. During her service she was deployed to Saudi Arabia, functioning as special assis­tant to the commander for the 50th General Hospital and as the special projects officer with emphasis on counseling and guidance of soldiers who were non-deploy­able. After a 22 year military career span, she retired in 2000, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

At the Depart­ment of Veteran Affairs, Frankie made signif­i­cant contri­bu­tions in educa­tion and clinical practice including expanding access to veterans throughout the Puget Sound region by devel­oping commu­nity outreach programs, clinics and mobile medical units. She helped estab­lish veteran health screening clinics at Pike Place Market, Bellingham, Port Angeles, and Friday Harbor. She also devel­oped the VA learning oppor­tu­nity residency program for nursing students into a nation­ally-recog­nized program.

Frankie has consis­tently devel­oped programs to enhance services to patients and commu­ni­ties. This is reflected in her early work improving services to women veterans. In the early 1970s, prior to the many program initia­tives for women veterans, she estab­lished basic proce­dures and procure­ment of equip­ment to support women veterans. In the 1980s she chaired and guided the Women Veterans’ Program for Western Region of DVA. The standards of care, policies and proce­dures including the improve­ment in clinical guide­lines, research and resources still remain in place today.

Frankie’s visionary leader­ship is charac­ter­ized in her efforts to provide an inter­gen­er­a­tional Partners Program” linking veterans and junior high and high school students to build mutual support systems. This program has served as the launching mecha­nism for students to progress into health care with an emphasis on nursing. This collab­o­ra­tive program has served many minority and disad­van­taged youth. She was also a co-founder in the early 1970s of the Family Clinic Service for women and children to provide one-stop preven­tive services in the local minority community.

Frankie was selected as the first nurse to serve on the King County Board of Health in 2003. In 2004, she was appointed by Governor Locke to serve as board member for a three-year term on the Washington State Board of Health. Frankie also served as the State Board of Health repre­sen­ta­tive on the Council from 2006 through 2011. In February 2011, she was appointed to the Governor’s Inter­a­gency Council on Health Dispar­i­ties as a consumer repre­sen­ta­tive. Frankie has also been recog­nized with numerous awards , including the 2010 March of Dimes Nursing Legend award, and the 2004 American Organi­za­tion of Nurse Execu­tives (AONE) Commu­nity Partner­ship Award.

She continues to serve her commu­nity through various organi­za­tions including WSNA, the King County Nurses Associ­a­tion, and the local chapter of The Mary Mahoney Profes­sional Nurses Organi­za­tion. Frankie’s continued interest in improving the lives of others is reflected in the many hours of volun­teer work she provides to elders, the homeless and to other under­served popula­tions. She has been charac­ter­ized by her nursing colleagues as a strong leader, visionary nurse, mentor, coach, and guide.