Candace Otte

Candace Otte

Candace Otte (Ingram) began her healthcare career at Butterworth Hospital working in the new ICU. Candace Otte was a devoted wife, mother of three children and a friend to many. In the spring of 2007 Candace Otte passed away due to complications from heart surgery.

In the late 1960’s, Candace Otte, R.N., an ICU nurse, and her cardiologist colleague C. Mark Vasu, M.D., believed that a newly introduced CPR procedure could save lives. Otte began teaching the then-new technique of CPR to physicians and nurses in area hospitals. While today it is standard practice for doctors, nurses, and emergency workers to be trained in CPR, it had never been done before Otte and Vasu initiated the training. For example, doctors could treat you after a heart attack but most could not help revive you while you were in the midst of one because they had never received CPR training.

In the 1970’s, Otte was persuaded to try her teaching techniques with police officers in Kent County. A group of physicians who called themselves the Crash Squad were responding to emergency calls in their own vehicles to treat victims on the scene of an accident or illness. Otte and Vasu created a training program for ambulance attendants, fire and police officers, doctors, nurses and others which over the next two decades evolved into a nationally and internationally-recognized paramedic training program. Otte traveled abroad on many occasions to provide her EMT program and to assist emerging countries improve pre-hospital care.

Otte spent much of her professional life teaching in West Michigan and lending her expertise to the State of Michigan in the design of rules, regulations, and licensure exams for pre-hospital care providers. Otte served as the Program Director for both Grand Valley State University Emergency Medical Services Training Program and the Davenport College Center for the Study of Emergency Medical Services Program.

Through Candace’s groundbreaking CPR and EMT training work, and her personality which was infused with flair and humor, she had the ability to affect people in a profound way. After a forty plus year career in healthcare, Candy had many friends and colleagues who wanted to do something in her memory after she passed away in 2007. It was fitting that they chose to establish the Candace Otte Scholarship for Nursing to create a lasting memorial to honor her life and achievements in the health care field.