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Janet Blaufuss

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Janet Blaufuss Obituary


Janet was born July 6, 1941, to Mary Vonda and George Bernard "Cap" Boultinghouse, in Crossville, Illinois. She attended Asbury College and graduated University of Illinois College of Nursing. Early in her career, she worked in pediatrics, juvenile psychiatric, rehabilitation and assisted in establishing one of the 1st sheltered care homes in Central Illinois. Working in an anti-poverty agency in Danville, Illinois, she assisted migrant workers, expanded well-child services in low-income areas, implemented lead and sickle cell screening programs and the first mobile meals services. She became an Assistant Nursing Director and Director of Family Planning and STD at the Vermilion County Health Dept. and later was Nursing Director and interim Health Director at the Whiteside County Health Dept. In these positions, Janet implemented various health services vital to those most in need. She served as President of Illinois Association of Local Health Department Nursing Administrators.

In 1977 Jan (as she was known to many friends) moved to Toledo and worked over 11 years for VNS - Visiting Nurse Service (TDNA), the last 4 as its Executive Director and CEO, shepherding the agency through a period of great transition/reorganization, and program offerings. During her tenure in Toledo, she fought tirelessly to defend and promote a wide range of quality nonprofit home health care services as the competitive forces of for-profit companies grew and threatened to undermine the VNS mission of quality home care to all regardless of income. Janet was a founding member of Hospice of Northwest Ohio and Ohio Hospice Organization, implementing pilot hospice services in 1978. She was a member of Zonta 1 and served on other boards and task forces.

In 1989, Janet sought out a less punishing climate, and an environment more akin to her Southern Illinois roots. She assumed the duties of Director of Nursing for Iredell County Health Department in North Carolina - a state recognized nationally as a leader in public health. Her work there helped reduce infant mortality rates and ensure quality home care and clinic services. She was instrumental in establishing and expanding service offerings to meet the county's needs. Janet worked with many community groups and institutions, served on various professional advisory committees including county schools' health occupations and school health, community college's health education, county Council on Aging, and March of Dimes. She was one of the founding members of the County's HIV/AIDS Task Force, Partnership for Young Children, Council on Adolescent Pregnancy, and Healthier Iredell County Initiative where she served as chair.

Throughout her professional career, her primary focus was on equal access to quality health services. Though she accomplished much professionally, her family was always at the heart of her life and her greatest pride her son and daughter.

In 2003 she returned to Toledo despite the weather to be nearer to family. She passed away May 6, 2013.

Jan Blaufuss had a zest for life. She loved good food, animals, music, art, literature, politics, mountains, the ocean and, most of all, people. She will be remembered, by countless numbers whose lives she touched, as smart, spirited, giving and caring. And she will be missed terribly.

She was preceded in death by her parents and sister (Barbara Boultinghouse), and is survived by her son, John (Jocelyn) of Toledo, daughter Janna Beth (Matthew) McDaniel of Medina, and granddaughters/ lights of her life, Audrey, Laura, Madelyn, and Lillian. A homegoing celebration will be held May 18, 2013, 11 a.m. at Monroe Street United Methodist Church in Toledo. Memorial contributions may be made to United Way of Greater Toledo or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
Published in Toledo Blade from May 7 to May 12, 2013
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