UW News

May 17, 2007

School of Nursing honors outstanding 2007 nurses

The UW School of Nursing honored outstanding nurses and volunteers at its 2007 annual Nurses Recognition Banquet May 10 at the W Hotel in Seattle. The event featured Eric Liu, author of Guiding Lights: The People Who Lead Us Toward Our Purpose in Life, as guest speaker.

Held during National Nurses Week, which is celebrated annually the week of May 6-12, this year’s program recognized graduates and nursing community leaders and highlighted the role of mentorship in nursing. Four individuals received Leadership Awards for their work. One award was given to an alumna of the school. The award winners were:

Distinguished Alumni Award: Mary Salazar, professor in the School of Nursing’s Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, has literally written the book on occupational health nursing, editing the third edition of Core Curriculum in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing, among many other publications. She is an internationally recognized researcher on the health risks of migrant and seasonal farm workers. Her work has addressed health risks associated with orchard work and pesticide exposure, and she has orchestrated successful collaborations among researchers, clinicians and members of the agricultural community. Her leadership as director of the school’s occupational and environmental health nursing program has helped the Pacific Northwest become known for having the best-educated occupational environmental health nurses in the country. Salazar graduated from the UW School of Nursing with a bachelor’s degree in 1982 and a master’s degree in 1986.

Distinguished Researcher Award: Elaine Thompson, the Sandra and Peter Dyer Term Professor in Nursing in the UW School of Nursing’s Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, has dedicated her career to improving the health and well-being of adolescents, focusing her research on the prevention of adolescent depression, aggression, substance use, risky behaviors and suicide risk. She is an expert in the implementation and evaluation of prevention programs that reduce risk factors and enhance resilience by increasing coping skills, problem-solving abilities and access to support resources. As a principal investigator and cofounder of the federally funded Reconnecting Youth Prevention Research Program, Thompson has examined the effects of psychosocial risk and protective factors on adolescent development. The program serves as a model nationally and internationally. Thompson received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing in 1970 and 1972, respectively, and a doctorate in social psychology in 1990, all from the UW.

Humanitarian Award: Meg Hatlen, nurse supervisor and clinical manager at Renton Public Health Center, began her career in public health nursing as a neonatal intensive care nurse at Tacoma General Hospital in 1980, and in 1982 accepted a position in the Seattle-King County Public Health Department. Through her work as a Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training (NCAST) instructor, she certified registered nurses and public health nurses in Seattle-King County Public Health clinics. She was hired as the personal health services supervisor at the Renton and Kent Public Health centers in 2001. Her coworkers remark on her deep understanding of the complexities of public health issues and her positive attitude. Hatlen’s dedication to her work positions her as a role model for other public health nurses. Hatlen received her master’s degree from the University of Washington in 1996.

Outstanding Volunteer Award: Betty McCurdy was a founding member of the UW School of Nursing Visiting Committee in 1969, and strongly endorsed the transition of the visiting committee into the current Campaign Advisory Board, of which she is a member. She has been active in many alumni and outreach programs at the UW, serving from 1983-84 as the second female president in the history of the UW Alumni Association. Both Betty and her husband, Jim McCurdy ’45, have been generous supporters of the UW through their involvement and membership in the UW Alumni Association. They were honored with the UW Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1989, and have donated more than $1 million to various UW funds. One of their largest gifts has gone to the School of Nursing. Betty McCurdy graduated from the UW in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and she received certification in public health and community medicine that same year.