Carter visits nursing students
a young boy, Jimmy
Carter often ate lunch with the nurses at the local hospital in
Plains, Georgia. It seemed only natural to Carter, whose mother,
Lillian, was a nurse. “I grew up surrounded by nurses,”
Carter told students during a recent town hall meeting at the
School of Nursing.
The town hall was one of a series
of special events in observation of the nursing school’s
Centennial this year. And it was the first time that Carter had
visited the nursing school building on Clifton Road. Before the
town hall, Carter toured the facility, including the offices of
the Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing, which he
At that time,
honored him as the
center’s first fellow and named him an honorary
visit provided students with a special opportunity to hear and talk
with a Nobel laureate and former US president. But for the moment,
Carter was first and foremost an honorary nurse as he paid tribute
to his mother and described The Carter Center’s work. Founded
as part of Emory University more than 20 years ago, The Carter Center
promotes peace and improves health worldwide through different programs.
Among them is the Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, directed
by Emory nursing professor Joyce Murray to assist educators in developing
curricula to train health workers throughout the country.
Carter attributed his interest in
health and serving vulnerable people to “Miss Lillian,”
who became a registered nurse in 1923 and a Peace Corps volunteer
in India at age 68. “You can see I get emotional about my
mama and what she did. I have no doubt you share the same ideals
and values,” Carter told the nursing students after reading
a poem he wrote about her nursing experience in India. “It
was one of the most glorious experiences of her life.”
During the town hall, Carter answered
students’ questions, all of which touched on some aspect of
nursing. “There’s no way a human being can separate
those values,” Carter told senior Jordan Bell in response
to her question about nursing and spirituality. “I don’t
see how we can separate that from our daily life . . . in serving
people. I had those same feelings as president—alleviating
suffering and pain and providing hope for a better life.”
The former president also turned his
attention to matters closer to home as students quizzed him about
what they could do to improve nurse retention in Georgia and amend
state law to give prescriptive authority to advanced nurse practitioners.
Carter pledged to take their concerns to Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Just as important, Carter encouraged
students to share their talents by serving abroad in countries like
Mali, which shares a partnership with The Carter Center and Emory.
The 12 million people who inhabit the African nation live on less
than $2 a day, which “leaves nothing for health care, education,
self-respect, or hope,” Carter said.
In addition to acquiring the necessary
medical and technical skills, nurses must be willing to bridge the
growing chasm between rich and poor. “A nurse [must] have
the ability to break down that wall and reach out to people who
are different,” he said.
Aiding Georgia's Farm Workers
Grant expands health
care for underserved
migrant farm workers are receiving expanded health care through
the School of Nursing’s Farm Worker Family Health Program.
the past 10 summers, the program has provided two weeks of
intensive health services for the workers and their families,
in and around Moultrie, Georgia. The program complements year-round
services provided by the Ellenton Rural Health Clinic. Thanks
to a $20,000 grant from the Georgia Health Foundation (GHF),
students have begun additional visits.
By expanding the program, students
are able “to visit Moultrie at different times throughout
the year to hold smaller, specific clinics for workers and
their families based on needs identified by the Ellenton Clinic
and the results of previous assessments,” says program
director Dr. Judith Lupo Wold, 81MN. This spring, two Emory
nursing students worked in the Ellenton Clinic. One of their
tasks was to educate outreach workers on preventive health
information for farm workers and their families. Also, GHF
funds have been used to purchase medical equipment to support
The Farm Worker Family Health
Program has been a model of collaboration involving community
members in Colquitt County and faculty and students from Emory’s
School of Nursing, Georgia State University (psychology and
physical therapy), Clayton State University and College (dental),
Kennesaw State University (nursing), and Darton College (dental).
Other partners include the Colquitt
County Health Department, the Colquitt County Board of Education,
the Southern Pine Migrant Education Agency, and farm and packing
house owners in the area. Churches and community organizations
also take part.
Community, Public Health
holds new professorship
Sarah Freeman will remember this year for a special reason. She
began 2005 as the first holder of the Betty Tigner Turner Professorship
Freeman’s new appointment is
definitely apropos, given that she directs the Women’s Health
Nurse Practitioner and the Women’s Health/Adult Health Nurse
Practitioner programs and teaches as a clinical professor in the
Department of Family and Community Health Nursing. The Turner Professorship
was established to honor excellence in teaching and care in the
areas of family, community, and public health. Turner, a 1953 graduate
of the nursing school and former president of the Nurses Alumni
Association, practiced as a public health nurse with the DeKalb
County Health Department in Georgia and with the Martha Jefferson
Hospital in Virginia. Her husband, Dr. John Turner Jr., 52C, 55M,
retired director of the Division of Otolaryngology at Emory’s
School of Medicine, and her three daughters—including Beth
Turner Gibson, 76Ox, 78C, a 1981 nursing graduate—established
the endowed professorship in her memory.
“Betty nurtured the careers
of countless nurses and served many patients and families through
her high-quality standards of care,” says Dean Marla Salmon.
“We are deeply honored to have the Turner family’s support
for this important professorship in her memory.”
Freeman, a nurse practitioner for
more than 20 years, specializes in teaching women’s health,
bioethics, and primary care. Highly regarded for the quality and
rigor of her teaching (often spiced with her characteristic humor),
she has been instrumental in establishing national accreditation
for women’s health advanced practice nursing programs. She
is a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and maintains
a clinical practice in women’s health and chronic disease
“The health of our nation depends
greatly on the health of the community and family,” says Freeman.
“It is an honor to be named to this position that recognizes
the importance of these concepts. I hope that I may provide the
same inspired leadership that Ms. Turner did during her career.”
School of Nursing also has a scholarship named for Turner. Friends,
colleagues, and former classmates created the Betty Tigner Turner
Scholarship following her death in 1997.
of Global Health
alumna presents Davis Lecture
this: A mother
and baby in Uzbekistan, a young boy in Africa, or an elderly woman
in Russia. In each case, different factors affect their health and
life span. But precisely what are those factors?
That is the subject of an ongoing
study led by Dr. Sue Hegyvary, 66MN, professor and dean emeritus
at the University of Washington School of Nursing. Hegyvary presented
her findings to date during the 2005 Hugh P. Davis Lecture on “Understanding
and Improving Global Health.” The annual lecture, funded through
an endowment established by the family and friends of its namesake,
brings nationally recognized nursing leaders to Emory.
Hegyvary’s study, which evaluated
demographic, health, financial, and other data from more than 160
countries, illustrated the challenges in comparing information from
a wide variety of sources and provided as many opportunities for
new questions as it did answers.
Hegyvary and her team of researchers
at the University of Washington devised an explanatory model showing
three types of determinants of health outcomes: resources, empowerment
(as measured by level of education, for example), and demography.
They then used this model to evaluate health outcomes on a global
Early findings indicate that demographics
may affect life expectancy and child mortality more significantly
than national resources. The United States, for example, lags behind
peer countries in these areas.
While the group found the typical
expected variations in life expectancy and child mortality related
to the accessible resources of each country, their greatest surprise,
she said, was the “importance of demography, which was even
more significant than resources in developing countries.”
She noted that demography characterizes human populations in a number
of ways, such as size, growth, density, distribution, and birth
and death rates. Standard demographics may include age, ethnicity,
gender, income, education level, and region.
Hegyvary’s study resulted from
questions that nursing students raised during her class on international
health. They wanted to know more than what Hegyvary referred to
as the “health olympics”—official listings that
rank countries based on life expectancy and other factors.
When Hegyvary and her colleagues embarked
on their research, they used data from the World Bank and United
Nations agencies. But using and comparing the data proved to be
challenging. As Hegyvary noted, the majority of related studies
found in scientific literature are based on a few countries. And
the way different countries measure data can vary significantly.
For example, the United States measures infant mortality based on
live heartbeat, whereas in other countries this is measured based
on gestational weight or other factors.
“This is the data that everybody
deals with, and it’s the best available in the world,”
she said. But it was stymieing nonetheless. “Each time we
looked at it, we saw something different.”
Hegyvary will soon return to Emory. Shortly
after her lecture, the university announced that she will receive
one of five honorary degrees presented at commencement in May.
Auchmutey and Amy Comeau
Widening the Net
Robert Hoover joined the School of Nursing
as director of the Office of Admission and Student Services
this winter, just as the school was gearing up for its Centennial.
In his new role, Hoover works with eight staff members, including
admissions advisers Katie Kennedy, Andrea Clark, and Angela
Kang. All are working to widen the net of prospective students,
based on a marketing strategy that builds on Emory’s
name recognition and more clearly identifies sources for scholarships
and financial aid.
“We have great resources
of funding available for students, and we need to do a better
job of communicating what’s available and how they can
access those resources,” says Hoover, who previously
worked in admissions at Samford University in Alabama. “It’s
a partnership, and we want to help as much as we can.”
Challenges of War
trains Kurdish nurses in Northern Iraq
Linda Spencer knows what war can do to a community. She saw it firsthand
while assessing and training Kurdish nurses in war-torn Iraq. Now,
following Iraq’s first democratic election in more than 50
years, the nurses she helped train could play a major role in the
development of an Iraqi health system.
In August 2003, just after
the war in Iraq began,
joined a program sponsored by the Washington Kurdish
and traveled to hospitals in three villages northeast of Mosul and
While there, she worked to enhance the clinical practice of the
Kurdish nurses and helped them develop a continuing education program.
Spencer’s team assessed the
Kurdish nurses’ situation by asking three basic questions:
What are the challenges you face? What are your duties? What new
skills do you want to learn? The team found a bright, eager group
of caregivers who had little organization and inconsistent training
“We discovered that there were
no specific standards of care, no nursing leadership organization,
and no job descriptions. Nurses’ education varied from a six-month
program after sixth grade to a three-year college program,”
says Spencer, a clinical associate professor in the Department of
Family and Community Health Nursing.
nurses’ needs and ultimately save lives, program participants
like Spencer focused on the basics of care—physical assessment
and body systems, hand washing and hygiene, CPR training, the Heimlich
maneuver, choking and body mechanics, and preventing decubitus ulcers
(bedsores). They combined classroom training with hospital
practicing skills and role-playing in a collegial and supportive
atmosphere that provided the Kurdish nurses with skills and empowerment.
“These nurses are amazing and
inspiring,” says Spencer. “I was humbled to see their
dedication and determination in providing care for the Kurds in
what many Western nurses would consider very bleak conditions. The
nurses each have 35 to 40 patients to take care of at a time, many
of whom are burn victims or have birth defects, which are both huge
problems in northern Iraq.”
In addition, families must provide
most of the nonmedical patient care in hospitals—bringing
blankets and sheets for hospital beds and providing meals.
Even though it has been nearly two
years since Spencer traveled to Iraq, the Washington Kurdish Institute
continues to send American nurses to support the Kurdish nurses
for up to three months at a time. Spencer continues to help with
training by keeping in touch via e-mail.
the Winter 2005 issue of Emory Nursing, a news brief (Big Jump:
School Lands in Top 20 for NIH Research, page 5) incorrectly stated
that Emory and the University of Alabama at Birmingham were the
only two nursing schools in the Southeast to rank in the top 20
for research funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2003.
The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill is also in
the top 20. UNC ranks third in the nation, followed by UAB (17th)
and Emory (18th).