This is an archived article.

February 12, 2009

School of Nursing’s annual public lecture features global health workforce expert


By Ashley Wiggin
School of Nursing


Dr. Barbara Stilwell, an internationally recognized expert in global health nursing, will explore the question of why migration matters in health care at the UW School of Nursing’s annual public lecture on, Thursday, Feb. 19. The school’s 29th annual Elizabeth Sterling Soule Endowed Lecture, “A Cause for Concern: The Global Health Workforce and the State of Our Health,” is free and open to the public. The lecture will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Kane Hall, Room 120.


In December, Stilwell was recognized as one of the United Kingdom’s (UK) top 20 most influential nurses of the last 60 years by the UK’s Nursing Times. She is director of technical leadership for IntraHealth International, a nonprofit organization in Chapel Hill, N.C., that has served the public health needs of developing countries for 30 years.


Stilwell will speak about the global health workforce and why migration matters in health care. She notes that richer countries have long relied on recruiting health care workers — especially nurses — from poorer nations to provide medical care, rather than improving the recruitment and retention of homegrown care providers. The migration of health workers is a complicated issue that may impact patients and their families in surprising ways.

Stilwell’s expertise is in health systems and workforce development. She previously worked at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, in health systems development. She was one of the principal authors of the World Health Report 2006.

Stilwell holds a master’s degree in development management and postgraduate research degrees at the master’s and doctorate levels. One of the first nurse practitioners in the United Kingdom and pioneer of the first nurse practitioner training program in the UK, she has held appointments in the Royal College of Nursing as a research fellow, principal lecturer and program director. She has practiced with isolated populations in Africa, Australia and the Caribbean, and it is from her clinical work in remote locations with the underserved that her interest in capacity development arose.

To register or learn more about the lecture, please visit: https://go.washington.edu/uwaa/events/2009nursing_soule_lecture/details.tcl.   



Established in 1979, the Elizabeth Sterling Soule Endowed Lecture honors the founding dean of the UW School of Nursing. The annual presentation features prominent nursing and health care leaders and is supported through the Elizabeth Sterling Soule Endowed Fund.