Whitney Hansen
Director of Nursing

Registered Nurse (R.N.)

I was born and raised in Paradise, California; a small town of 27,000 people, a town almost completely wiped off the map from the Camp Fire on November 8th, 2019.

Earlier that year, I had landed my dream job right out of nursing school in Feather River Hospital’s ICU in my hometown. It truly was a blessing to work there: my grandfather practiced as a physician early in his career at Feather River, I was in the field of nursing that I wanted to be, and Birgitte–a good friend of mine from nursing school–was hired into her dream specialty in Feather River’s Emergency Department. It was a long, stressful, and exciting 9 months on the journey to developing our careers as new nurses. We were surrounded by supportive, absolutely wonderful staff–we never wanted to work anywhere else.

On November 8th, my husband and I were on our way to the airport, flying back to Chico, California after a short trip to celebrate our 1-year anniversary. My sister and my mom called me crying, terrified and devastated. My mom woke up to embers igniting her back yard on fire- they only had time to grab what was in front of them and ran for their lives. The fire moved at a rate of eight football fields per second due to 60mph winds. Hundreds of miles from home I was absolutely devastated, terrified, and helpless. I wanted to be there for my family and fellow coworkers. I lost my entire home town and my dream job within a day, and everyone I knew had lost their homes and barely escaped with their lives.

The very next day, I arrived at the East Ave Community Church in Chico with my friend Birgitte and her mother Denise to see if anyone needed medical care, knowing their homes were more than likely gone. There were over 200 evacuees living in the gym of a church, many disabled and needing medical attention. We sent 4 people to the Emergency Room the first day we arrived–some people with burns and many others with emergent blood pressures and stroke-like symptoms.

We served at the church for 6 weeks, and with the help from many, many, medical volunteers driving from all over the state, we formed a medical clinic providing 24-hour medical care. After the church had shut down as a shelter, our core group of volunteers felt compelled to continue to serve our community–and that is how Medspire Health was born.

Medspire is a group of passionate volunteers who share the same story and trauma as the community we serve. We are dedicated to ensuring healthcare is more accessible- by offering free medical care brought right to our patient’s doorsteps.