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  NOVEMBER 21, 2008
APHA Honors UIC Public Health Nursing Leaders at Annual Meeting

baldwin-isselDrs. Michele Issel and Kathleen Baldwin, both from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) received the Lillian Wald Award for Public Health Service by the Public Health Nursing section of the American Public Health Association (APHA). The award was presented at the 2008 Annual Conference of the American Public Health Association held in San Diego, CA on Tuesday, October 28. Dr. Issel is a clinical associate professor in the community health sciences division of the UIC School of Public Health (SPH), adjunct in the College of Nursing; and Dr. Baldwin is a clinical associate professor in the UIC College of Nursing, adjunct in epidemiology at the SPH.

Drs. Issel and Baldwin were recognized for their work related to advancing the education of public health nurses in Illinois over the past eight years, including their leadership in the project, "Advancing Public Health Nursing Education (APHNE) in Illinois," which has helped strengthen public health nursing education, practice and recruitment of registered nurses into public health.

"Improving the public health nursing workforce is one of my passions," Dr. Issel said. "Like much of public health, public health nurses are mostly invisible, although they comprise the single largest professional group in public health. To improve the education and competency of the public health nurse workforce of Illinois, we sought, obtained and leveraged multiple grant opportunities. Receiving this award confirms that following your passion can be a wise choice."

APHNE is comprised of public health nurses from academia and practice in the state of Illinois. As co-investigators on the project, Drs. Issel and Baldwin helped secure federal funding, and with the support of three state public health nursing organizations, developed a State Advisory Board with health department administrators, nursing directors and faculty from college nursing degree programs, to create a strategic plan to strengthen public health nursing education. APHNE has helped enhance the number and competency of public health nurses serving Illinois citizens and reenergize the Illinois Public Health Association’s nursing section. APHNE has also developed marketing materials to brand public health, recruited rural and minority students into public health nursing and fostered collaboration between clinical sites and baccalaureate nursing programs.

The Lillian Wald Service Award winners are chosen annually by the Public Health Nursing Section of APHA to individuals, agencies, or media for depicting exemplary public health nursing practice to the public through political, legislative, professional or interdisciplinary activism. The award recognizes public health nurses whose careers exemplify Lillian Wald's pioneering work in public health nursing and direct influence in city, state and national politics.