Dr. Amelia Perez

Three Southern Illinois University School of Nursing (SIUE SON) faculty are among the finalists for the March of Dimes’ fourth annual Nurse of the Year Award. The event is set for  Saturday, Oct. 10, at 6 p.m. in the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.

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

The SIUE candidates are:

Dr. Amelia Perez, RN, PhD, MSN, is an assistant professor and coordinator of the Simulation Learning Center for Health Sciences in the SIUE SON. She has spent much of her education and career researching cultural health in Hispanic populations.

Perez has been an SON faculty member for more than 12 years and has over 13 years of clinical experience in adult medical-surgical nursing. Perez is researching perceptions of the management of hypertension in Hispanic populations. She is also active in investigating the level of health literacy that Hispanic populations have in order to address issues in health behaviors. Currently, Perez is investigating possible correlations between education levels and health literacy in Hispanic college students.

Dr. Kim White, RN, PhD, MSN, CNS-BC is executive director of WeCare Clinic at the SIUE East St. Louis campus. Her clinical areas of expertise are public health and rehabilitation, both orthopedic and neurological.

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White, along with other members of the SIUE SON, SIUE School of Pharmacy and Department of Social Work, recently developed a nurse patient advocate (NPA) 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 NPA model.

Dr. Valerie Yancey, RN, PhD, HNC, CHPN, associate professor at SIUE SON. 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.

Valerie YanceyA 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 are eligible.

A complete list of finalists is available at marchofdimes.org/monoty.

About the March of Dimes

Whether serving as a health care provider, educator, researcher, volunteer and/or advisor, nurses play a critical role in advancing the mission of the March of Dimes, which is to improve the health of all babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The Nurse of the Year initiative supports the mission while recognizing exceptional nurses through the region, celebrating the profession and creating awareness of the strides made in this growing field.

The 2015 Nurse of the Year is presented by the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing at Maryville University. Corporate partners include Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Chamberlain College of Nursing, Chiesi USA, Home State Health Plan/NurseWise/Centene, MU Health System, Scrubs and Beyond, and SSM Health.

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