Assistant Professor Barbara Suzy Diggle-Fox Named Finalist for GWBJ "Health Care Heroes" Award in Nursing

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Barbara Suzy Diggle-Fox, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, has been named a finalist for the 2019 Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s "Health Care Heroes" Award in the category of nurse practitioner/physician assistant.

The award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to health care in southeastern N.C. The winner will be announced during an awards ceremony on Nov. 15.

“It's wonderful to be recognized for doing something that you love to do. There are many nurses and practitioners at UNCW who spend a great deal of time volunteering, just as I do,” said Diggle-Fox. “My career as a health care provider brings me in contact with so many fascinating people. I get to make a difference in their lives which is very rewarding, and it helps me to be a better educator and a better person.”

Diggle-Fox began her nursing career as a nurse’s aide in 1976. She has clinical experience in substance abuse, school nursing, medical-surgical nursing, homeless domiciliary, occupational health and oncology. Diggle-Fox has volunteered with the Cape Fear Clinic for the underserved and the Parkinson’s disease foundation’s support group in New Hanover County.  

She and gerontology professor Anne Glass have received a community grant to educate individuals in the New Hanover area regrading a new type of exercise that is specific for people who have Parkinson's disease.

Diggle-Fox's research interests are in the areas of geriatrics, infectious diseases, mental health (anxiety and stress), suicide, Parkinson's disease and substance abuse. She published articles on geriatric suicide and orientation for nursing students and their significant others prior to beginning nursing school.

Clinical and volunteer experiences are paramount to nursing students’ educational experience, she said. “My entire career as an educator I have always assisted with facilitating and advising my students to take opportunities to work with people who are different from them and individuals who are in need of supportive care,” she said. “Many of my students who do expose themselves to diverse populations expressed increased comfort, knowledge and desire to continue to work with this population. Often, I will hear 'With this diverse underserved population I feel like I can make a difference.'”

--Venita Jenkins