School of Nursing Named a Finalist for 2020 Health Care Heroes Award in Innovation

Friday, October 16, 2020

UNCW’s School of Nursing is a finalist for a Health Care Heroes Award in the category of Innovation in Health Care. The awards, presented by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, honor people and organizations that enhance the quality of health care in the Cape Fear region.

Two students, Evonne Meyreles ’21 (nursing) and Alex Payton ’22 (public health and Spanish), have been selected as the UNCW student scholars as part of the Health Care Heroes Awards. They will receive $500 scholarships sponsored by Delta Dental.

The publication explains that the innovation award honors “an individual or team behind a new scientific discovery, procedure, treatment or device that can save lives or improve the quality of life for a large number of people.”

Beth Gazza, SON professor and associate director for faculty and staff development, submitted the nomination, which notes that innovation is part of the school’s mission. COVID-19 presented a particular challenge, leaving the school just two weeks to transition from classes that usually must be taught in person to fully remote lessons.

“As the nation has experienced interruptions in health care services due to COVID-19, my faculty are called to step beyond their comfort zones to help our 3,000 nursing students continue their clinical and didactic experiences with minimum interruption,” said Linda Haddad, director of the School of Nursing. “Some of our graduate students’ hospital stories and faculty stories personally moved me during this difficult time. I am humbled to lead such talented and resilient faculty and staff.”

SON faculty collaborated to develop online tools and new instructional approaches to provide meaningful learning experiences and to support their students. Often, faculty members set aside personal concerns to put their students first.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the School of Nursing faculty and staff,” said Charles Hardy, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “Their innovative and creative work with online learning platforms and simulation clinical training are second to none. Their outstanding professional achievements, community involvement and dedication to excellence contribute to CHHS producing high-quality leaders in health care for southeastern North Carolina and beyond.”

--Tricia Vance