Dorothy Patach, RN, MS
Dorothy Patach, RN, MS, was a dedicated nurse known for her passion for student success. Following graduation, she worked as an assistant operating room supervisor at University Hospital for three years and then at Bishop Clarkson for eight years. While at Bishop Clarkson, she was credited with adding air conditioning to the operating rooms to provide more sterile conditions. In 1956, she taught at Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, where she helped develop surgical drapes. She was involved in the testing of “Formula 99,” later named Dial Soap, and proposed changing it from liquid to bar form to reduce allergic reactions in patients. In 1959, Patach joined the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) faculty as director of the nursing program and was a faculty counselor for the pre-nursing students when the UNO and UNMC programs combined. In 1973-74, she was made joint faculty between the two campuses until her retirement in 1989.
In 2001, Omaha City Council designated a seven-acre property at 20th and N Streets as the Dorothy Patach Natural Environment Area. It was previously a construction dumping site, and thanks to her clean up and lobbying efforts, 86 trees and natural grasses were planted on the site.
Dorothy Patach was one of the first student nurses without a previous college education to enroll in the University of Nebraska School of Nursing. In addition to earning a BA in Nursing, she also earned a BA in Nutrition and an MS in Nursing Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In 2012, the UNMC College of Nursing Alumni Association created the Dorothy M. Patach Spirit of Service Award. This award is presented to an alum who has contributed to the nursing profession, as well as to their community and has improved the lives of others.