Debbie Cannon Freece (Class of 2013)
Debbie Cannon Freece has worked in long-term care in multiple roles including nurse’s aide, staff nurse, Director of Nursing, Project Director for the Ohio Department of Health, Educator and Geriatric Nurse Consultant. Her career focus has advocated that nurses in the community are aware of and involved in issues that impact their practice.
Freece has been active in the American Nurses Association and has served on numerous committees. In 1990, she became the Executive Director of the Mid-Ohio District Nurses Association. She worked for twelve years to get the advanced practice status for nurses in Ohio passed into law as well as developing a free continuing education program for Mid-Ohio members.
Freece believes that it is essential to mentor nurses so that they can grow and develop professionally and personally. She also believes that nurses should be recognized not only for their work in the profession but also for their unique community contributions.
She promotes nursing as a profession by traveling to junior highs and high schools to educate students about the field. She also travels to schools and colleges of nursing routinely to discuss health policy issues, the importance of membership in professional associations and to discuss how RNs can make a significant impact on health policy.
Freece is an advocate of persons with disabilities and has volunteered with the Columbus Public Schools Special Olympics. She is past president and serves on the Board of Directors of the Franklin County Board of Residential Services. She is also an advisory board member of the United Way of Central Ohio and active with The OSU Medical Heritage Center.
Freece graduated from The Ohio State University in 1974 with a bachelor's and a master’s in nursing administration and education in 1980.
Freece was honored as a Legend in 2013.