In memory of Charlotte Foster 2/24/1953 - 6/7/2017
Thank you for your service.
Charlotte Foster, RN, BSN, MHA was the Regional Director for Group Health’s South Sound Medical Centers in Olympia and Puyallup, Washington. She was the former Chief Nurse Executive for Swedish Medical Group (SMG) in Seattle. Her nursing background includes med/surg, Neurosurgery trauma and ICU, ambulatory clinic care, and nursing administration. Charlotte was also a licensed Medical Technologist for many years prior to becoming a nurse.
In 2003, Char acquired an associate nursing degree. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and a Master’s in Health Administration. In 2014, Charlotte graduated from the University of Washington’s Healthcare Regulatory and Compliance certificate program.
Charlotte had a deep passion for community service and volunteerism. She also served as a Washington State Nursing Commissioner. She was first appointed to the Nursing Commission by Christine Gregoire for a four year appointment in 2011. She was then re-appointment by Governor Jay Inslee, and on March 11th, 2016, Charlotte was voted Chair of the Washington State Nursing Commission, unanimously by her Nursing Commission peers.
She served on several additional prominent Boards including her local Auburn King County YMCA, KD Hall Foundation, and Therapeutic Health Service, the region’s largest mental health and drug addiction service. She supported various non-profit health care programs throughout the Seattle and Puget Sound region. She was a Notary Public, a well-respected public speaker, and has been the recipient of a host of awards and acknowledgements. She was most commonly known by the underserved community as, “The People’s Nurse”.
Her accomplishments also included being the Founder and President of The Chrissy Foster Foundation. This non-profit organization was created to honor Chrissy Foster, Charlotte’s daughter who passed away suddenly in 2014 from Ketoacidosis, a complication of Diabetes. The foundation provides Diabetes education and resources for the underserved and unaware. This foundation has been a significant benefit to her surrounding community, meeting the needs of many around Diabetes diagnosis, treatment and management.
Developing relationships with healthcare and educational institutions was important to Charlotte. She continued to work with nurse leaders and health care executives to develop resources and pathways to wellness in our communities and across the country. She has been a committed advocate for the homeless, and underserved throughout her life. She has taken her message to the stage locally and nationally. A memorable national speaking event was in October, 2015 at the Press Club in Washington, DC. Charlotte spoke passionately about the need for additional mental health services and resources for the homeless. Her local efforts are demonstrated in her annual participation in the King County Free Clinic where nearly 5,000 people receive medical, vision, and dental care. These and many other accomplishments truly demonstrate the dedication that Charlotte had toward service for those in need.
Char coined a phase that states her philosophy on life. It says:
"It is my belief that we are all an exquisite part of the universe designed to serve a purpose. That purpose is to serve each other so that we don’t cease to exist."