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Message from the CEO

Author(s): Gay Johnson

This September marked NPWH’s 19th Annual Premier Women’s Healthcare Conference, and it was a huge success! The main conference began with presentations by dynamic women who set the tone for the rest of the event. First, we enjoyed Conversation with Loretta Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, FAAN, FAANP. Loretta was co-founder of the first nurse practitioner (NP) program in the United States. Loretta, along with Henry Silver, MD, inaugurated the pediatric NP program at the University of Colorado in 1965. Then in 1972, Loretta joined the University of Rochester as founding Dean of the Nursing School. Jacki Witt, Chair of the NPWH Board of Directors, and I presented Loretta with a Leadership Award with this inscription: For Extraordinary Vision, Remarkable Dedication, Passionate Commitment to Excellence in Creating the Nurse Practitioner RoleLoretta Ford is truly an inspiration to everyone who meets her.

The next two speakers were Teresa Gardner Tyson, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, FAANP, and Paula Meade, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, PNP-BC, FAANP. Teresa and Paula are lifelong friends who grew up in the rural Appala – chian Mountains of Virginia. They left the area to pursue their education and clinical experience, and then returned to start a free nurse-managed health clinic, The Health Wagon, for uninsured patients. These two NPs and The Health Wagon were featured in a segment on 60 Minutes, which showcased their efforts to provide access to healthcare for the poor and marginalized people of Appalachia. Their clinic also received notable recognition by Nightline, CBS Nightly News, Inside Edition, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Teresa and Paula continue to extend their reach to underserved populations. For the past 17 years, they have provided services to the Remote Area Medical Health Expedition in Virginia, which is the largest healthcare outreach in the U.S. They currently manage two mobile units and two stationary Health Wagon clinics.

Once again, NPWH was proud to present the Inspiration in Women’s Health Award to four different NPs. The Inspiration Award Winner for Education was Sharon D. Baker, BSN, MS, CWHNP, CMP, of Georgia; the Inspiration Award Winner for Clinical was Jennifer Kurkowski, MSN, WHNP-BC, of Texas; the Inspiration Award Winner for Research was Naomi Jay, PhD, RN, NP, of California; and the Inspiration Award Winner for Policy was Denise Link, PhD, WHNP-BC, CNE, FAAN, FAANP, of Arizona. The award winners received free conference registration, travel to and from New Orleans, and accommodations for the duration of the conference, as well as an award and a scholarship to continue their great work. All of these awards were made possible through a grant from Hologic, Inc. “Inspiration” was clearly a theme throughout the conference; the sessions and symposia—notable for their captivating content and spirited speakers—were truly inspiring to the attendees.

One last thing: We are all inspired by the contributions that you make every day to the healthcare of women! Thank you, and have a happy and healthy holiday season!

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