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Two from SIUE are March of Dimes Nurses of the Year


From Illinois Business Journal news services

EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University School of Nursing’s Dr. Kim White and Dr. Val Yancey were winners at the March of Dimes’ fourth annual Nurse of the Year Award ceremonies this month at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.

The March of Dimes presented 20 awards to nurses who exemplify an extraordinary level of patient care, compassion and customer service in their respective disciplines.

Dr. Kim White, RN, PhD, MSN, CNS-BC and executive director of WeCare Clinic at the SIUE East St. Louis campus, won in the category of Case Management, Public/Occupational Health. Her clinical areas of expertise are public health and rehabilitation, both orthopedic and neurological. She serves on the Montgomery County TB Care and Treatment Board, is a member of the State of Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Advisory Council, and was a co-author of the Quad Council position paper on advancing public health nursing education.

White, along with other members of the SIUE School of Nursing, SIUE School of Pharmacy and Department of Social Work, recently developed a nurse patient advocate model for the WeCare Clinic and is principal investigator for a $1,085,903 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant expands services of the WE CARE Clinic and ensures high quality, comprehensive and patient-centered care under one roof through the innovative nurse patient advocate model.

“It is a great honor to have received this award in the category of case management, public/occupational health,” White said. “Public health nursing is my passion. I love the idea of helping improve the health of not only the individual, but whole aggregates of people. Nurses with public health specialization play an important role in healthcare as the focus shifts to health promotion and disease prevention.”

“Dr. White has been an integral force in the recent reshaping of the WeCare clinic and the delivery of health care to the residents of East St. Louis,” said Dr. Laura Bernaix, interim dean of the SIUE School of Nursing. “Much to Dr. White’s credit, the WeCare Clinic experienced a growth of over 28 percent in patients served this past year and has secured a number of partnerships with area agencies in order to provide an array of primary care services.”

Dr. Valerie Yancey, RN, PhD, HNC, CHPN, and associate professor at the School of Nursing, won in the category of Education. She has authored several scholarly publications and is a member of professional societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Theta Tau, the Epsilon Eta Chapter, Missouri Nurses Association, American Holistic Nurses Association and the American Critical Care Nurses Association as a lifetime member.

Yancey’s clinical areas of expertise are critical care, ethics and palliative/hospice care. Her scholarship activities include the spiritual dimension of health and healing, holistic nursing, nursing ethics, critical care stress management and post-traumatic stress injury after combat.

“Seated in the company of hundreds of professional nurses at the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year awards ceremony, I was inspired anew by the dynamic, energetic and life giving nature of the nursing profession,” Yancey said. “To receive recognition from my peers and an acknowledgement of the importance of nurse educators was particularly meaningful. I am indebted to our students and my colleagues at SIUE. Education is a collaborative adventure.”

“Dr. Yancey exemplifies the epitome of teaching excellence,” Bernaix said. “Her classroom instruction reflects a reciprocal style of teacher-student interaction where the student is recognized as a valued contributor to the learning process. Her style of instruction is inspirational to all of her peers as she is able to effortlessly transcend the learner down a path of discovery and insight.”

Dr. Amelia Perez, RN, PhD, MSN, and assistant professor and coordinator of the Simulation Learning Center for Health Sciences in the SIUE School of Nursing, was a finalist in the education category.

A selection committee of health care professionals reviewed more than 500 nominees and narrowed the field to 189 finalists. Nurses employed in the state of Missouri and the Illinois counties of Jersey, Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, Monroe and Randolph were eligible.

“It is not surprising that the selection committee identified Drs. White, Yancey and Perez as deserving finalists and awardees for these categories,” Bernaix said. “These individuals are excellent examples of the high quality of nursing faculty we have in the School of Nursing, and we are extremely proud of them.”

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