As part of National Nurses Week, the UW School of Nursing recognized outstanding nurses and nursing leaders at its 2004 Nurses Recognition Banquet May 12, also National Nurses Day. Christine Gregoire, attorney general of Washington state, was the featured speaker.
In conjunction with seven local hospitals and health care organizations, the program honored faculty, researchers, hospital and clinical nurses, and volunteers, and celebrated the impact of nursing in the region and around the world.
Since 1981, the UW School of Nursing has presented a Distinguished Alumni Award to an outstanding graduate. This year, the school added three new awards—in research, humanitarianism and volunteerism—to recognize nurses in the greater nursing community.
The School of Nursing presented the following 2004 Leadership Awards:
n Distinguished Alumni Award: Rebecca Kang ’85 Ph.D., associate professor of psychosocial and community health, UW School of Nursing. Kang is best-known for her work as a master teacher and community advocate for immigrants and minority families.
n Distinguished Research Award: Elaine Larson ’81 Ph.D., associate dean for research and professor, School of Nursing and professor, Joseph Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Larson has built her research career around the study of infection control. The impact of her research extends across clinical settings, from neonatal intensive care to home care of vulnerable older adults; and in homes and schools. Her work has directly contributed to increased attention for hand washing as a factor in controlling infection in health care settings.
n Humanitarian Award: Ekene Amaefule ’02 M.N., nurse manager, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System. Amaefule, a single mother of five, regularly returns to her native Nigeria, where she personally funds the education of poor children in her village, and using funds she raised, created a new well there to decrease water-borne diseases. She purchased land and has broken ground for the construction of a free medical clinic. In Seattle, she volunteers in her neighborhood school, church and workplace.
n Outstanding Volunteer Award: Sandra Dyer ’59 B.S.N., community leader. After a long career in nursing in the Seattle area, Dyer also earned a master’s degree in education from Seattle University in 1986. In 2003 she received Kappa Delta’s award for her non-sorority community service. She has served on many boards including Eastside Alcohol Center, Home Health Care of King County and Seattle Symphony Volunteer Association. Dyer and her husband Peter Dyer currently serve as honorary co-chairs on the School of Nursing Campaign Advisory Board.
Sponsors for the program at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel were ERA Care Communities, Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Kidney Centers, Swedish Medical Center, UW Medical Center and Virginia Mason Medical Center. Each organization honored 10 of its outstanding nurses at the event.