Winnie Barron ’79 is the recipient of the Spirit of Adventure Award. In 1998, she co-founded Makindu Children’s Program in Kenya, www.makindu.org, an international nonprofit supporting Makindu Children’s Centre that provides comprehensive services for orphans, vulnerable children, and adults. She served as Makindu’s program director in its early years and currently is the program’s board chair, advisor, and consultant. During the past 20 years, the center has helped more than 14,000 vulnerable children and their families. Barron’s career as a physician’s assistant also has been prolific and impactful. After training at Duke University Medical School, she worked for more than two decades in family medicine before specializing in emergency medicine and urgent care for the past 13 years. She maintains her paramedic certification as a volunteer paramedic/firefighter, EMT captain, and search and rescue squad member with the Brownsville, Oregon Fire Department.
In 2017, she was awarded the Humanitarian Award from the World of Children; in 2001, she was named Humanitarian Physician’s Assistant of the Year by Paragon International; in 2002, she was named to the Medical Hall of Fame by Duke University, from which she also received Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001; and in 1998, she was named Oregon Paramedic of the Year.
Barron earned a bachelor of arts degree from CC in 1979 and a bachelor of health science from Duke University School of Medicine in 1988. She plans to pursue a master of public health degree with a specialization in global health.