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Husband’s battle with cancer inspires Blinn Hodde Center student to enroll in certified nurse aide program

LeAnn Statham discovered a love of CNA work while caring for her late husband

November 18, 2016

LeAnn StathamLeAnn Statham had never considered a career in healthcare until she witnessed her late husband’s 10-year battle with cancer.

That experience sparked an interest in healthcare that inspired Statham to sell the trucking company she ran with her husband and enroll in courses at Blinn College’s A.W. Hodde, Jr., Technical Education Center.

“Seeing how much my husband needed me to care for him and realizing I was good at it was life-changing,” Statham said. “After my husband died, I knew I wanted to carry that experience further.”

Statham took that ambition into the certified nurse aide (CNA) course taught by Jackie Schrader. That dedication in the classroom and at her current job at Brenham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is why she was named Blinn’s Technical and Community Education Student of the Month for November.

“In all my years of teaching, she is one student who brought the most excitement to class, and she still has that excitement for her career,” Schrader said. “She has continued to develop the skills she used while caring for her late husband.”

Statham earned her CNA certification from the Hodde Center in 2014 and currently is enrolled in the College’s phlebotomy program. She was named Brenham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center employee of the month in December 2015 and employee of the year for 2015.

“The Hodde Center leads you in the right direction with resume help and recommendations,” Statham said. “My job is rewarding because I get to improve the quality of life of my residents at the facility.”

Statham felt apprehensive about taking classes as a 48-year-old, but those feelings disappeared the first day of class.

“All of the students have lives, full-time jobs, and families, but we all came together to learn as a group,” Statham said. “I wouldn’t have started school without the encouragement of my fiancé, Frank Foley.”

While continuing her work at Brenham Nursing and Rehabilitation, Statham said she will look to continue her education and become a vocational or registered nurse.

The 12,000-square foot Hodde Center was built in 2009 to provide local training for a quality, viable workforce in Washington and the surrounding communities. Its staff works in cooperation with local businesses to provide a well-trained workforce that strengthens the local economy. For more information on the Hodde Center and its course offerings, call 979-830-4443 or visit