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Christa Koffel

1955 - 2019
Christa Koffel Obituary
(News story) Christa Koffel, a registered nurse, nurse educator, and researcher who was honored as a leader in preparing student nurses, died Saturday in St. Luke's Hospital, Maumee. She was 63.

The Perrysburg resident developed complications from an autoimmune disorder, said her husband, Dr. Kevin Koffel, who is a physician.

She'd been associated with Lourdes University in Sylvania and was still able to teach this spring.

"She was a proud lady. She'd have liked to have gone back with the teaching," her husband said. "She worked very hard with her students. She wanted every student she worked with to be successful and be the best they could be. She put a lot of energy into her teaching."

For much of her career, she was a nontraditional student - employed and a parent - and understood the needs of her students, many of whom were graduate nurses who had other responsibilities too.

"She was living it herself," her husband said. "She was as much a student as they were."

In the 1970s, she received an associate degree in nursing from what is now Owens Community College and later taught there.

In 2017, she received the Linda Cronenwett Leadership Award, named for a founder of the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses initiative and given to "an emerging nurse leader in the field of quality and safety education" who contributed to nursing education "through exemplary vision, influence, critical thinking, communication, and role modeling," its website says.

She also had been a leader of the initiative's academic task force and spoke at conferences nationally and internationally.

"She was an innovator, in that she was bridging the connection between schools of nursing and practice and bridging the gap so quality could be improved," said Mary Dolansky of Case Western Reserve University, who is a nurse and part of the initiative. "Her character was a key. She could work with all types of people and bring out the strengths of people, so people got motivated and activated and kept the work moving forward."

She was born Oct. 30, 1955, to Charlotte and Dale Sager, grew up in Springfield Township, and was a graduate of Springfield High School.

Her mother was a nurse's aide, and she became a candy striper at the former Maumee Valley Hospital. She became a clinical manager of the cardiac intensive care unit at Medical College of Ohio Hospital, where she worked until 1980. From 2002-14, she had a variety of roles with ProMedica, including as educational specialist at Toledo Hospital; director of education at the Flower Hospital campus; as a clinical integration partner, and as a researcher in Promedica's Center of Nursing Excellence.

She received a bachelor of education degree and a master of education in counseling degree, both from the University of Toledo. She received a doctorate in education from Capella University.

"She wanted to be an inspiration to her kids," her husband said. She later pursued a bachelor of science degree in nursing, also from Capella.

She was known for her kindnesses, and for being the spectator at her children's games most likely to have with her an ice pack for a sprain, and antibiotic ointment for a scrape. "She was prepared if something went wrong," her husband said.

Surviving are her husband, Kevin Koffel, whom she married Aug. 9, 1980; daughters, Michelle Donahue and Emily Koffel; son, Nathan Koffel, and brother, Timothy Sager.

Family and friends will be received from 4-8 p.m. Friday at Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg. A memorial Mass will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Rose Church, Perrysburg, where she was a member.

The family suggests tributes to Habitat for Humanity.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. Contact him at [email protected] or 419-724-6182.
Published in The Blade on Sept. 6, 2019
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