2018 Tillman Scholar

Rowan O’Connell-Barger

Military Spouse
Yale University
MSN, Certified Nurse Midwife & Women's Health Nurse Practitioner

“Meaningful and systemic change occurs one person at a time.”

Rowan O’Connell-Barger is connected to military service through family and community. She understands firsthand the powerful impact that compassionate and caring health care providers can make to help patients live fulfilling lives after physical and mental injuries. Rowan is determined to help military families and others toward a happier, healthier future.

Rowan spent over a decade as a medical assistant, health educator and clinic manager at a nonprofit organization in rural Northern California, where she learned the importance of compassionate care. In 2017, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University, where she majored in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a minor in Spanish. Rowan was then honored with admission to Yale School of Nursing’s graduate program beginning August 2018, with a dual focus as a certified nurse midwife/women’s health nurse practitioner. In August 2019, she became a registered nurse and will graduate in May 2021 with her Master of Science in Nursing degree.

As a CNM/NP, Rowan will focus on the needs of rural, underserved communities, including military families in and outside the United States. In her future career, Rowan plans to continue to be a change-maker in her home community and beyond.