Helen Marie Martin, RN, MS, FNP, died in a tragic accident on Friday, January 20th, 2012. She was the Clinical Director at Valencia Health Services (VHS)--a pediatric practice formerly co-sponsored by UCSF School of Nursing--from 1999 until its transition to the Mission Neighborhood Health Center in December 2009.
At VHS, Helen provided primary care to patients while coordinating and supervising a staff of nurse practitioners, pediatricians, nursing assistants, and support staff. It is a tribute to Helen’s exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment to VHS patients that the practice continues to thrive and that many of her former staff transitioned to the new center.
Within UCSF School of Nursing, Helen served as an Assistant Clinical Professor (Volunteer) in the Department of Family Health Care Nursing and as a member and chair of the school’s Faculty Practice Committee.
Although her nursing career took many paths, Helen was singularly committed to providing quality care to the underserved. She became a registered nurse in 1979, and she received a Master’s degree from UCSF and became a Family Nurse Practitioner in 1991. Her career included service at Sequoia Hospital, Redwood City; Planned Parenthood, San Mateo County (as a public health nurse); Children's Hospital, San Francisco; and the San Francisco Department of Public Health in a variety of locations, including the HIV Antibody Test Site, Health Center # 1, and the Rape Treatment Center.
Words fail utterly to capture such a wonderful person. To be sure, all would agree that Helen was smart, beautiful, fun, kind, generous, and deeply loving. No doubt we each can add appellations of our own. The list would be long indeed.
Helen’s abiding love for her husband, Seth Ammerman, her large extended family, and countless lifelong friends and professional colleagues was apparent to all. Hers was a buoyant spirit with many interests, including literature, travel, the theater, and opera to name but a few.
The UCSF School of Nursing community mourns the loss of Helen but celebrates her amazing legacy and nursing expertise that will be carried on through her colleagues and former students.