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Villanova Nurses Honored for Global Impact at United Nations

Villanova Nursing group outside United Nations
Event speaker Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy (3rd from left), Dean Donna Havens (3rd from right) and Sr. Jackline Mayaka, FSJ,(2nd from right) award recipient were among numerous Villanova Nurses at the United Nations May 10.

Villanova Nurses were out in force May 10 at the United Nations for the 3rd Annual International Nurses Day sponsored by Nurses with Global Impact. Led by Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor, nursing faculty, staff, students and alumni were present for the global impact award presentation to alumna and PhD student Sr. Jackline Mayaka, FSJ,  MSN, and the climate change talk from previous recipient Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN. She is associate professor and director of the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s Center for Global and Public Health. Assistant Dean Evelyn Lengetti, PhD, RN-BC, who directs the Collge's Continuing Education program, provided the contact hours to hundreds of nurses at the event.

Sr. Jackline, who received the Inspiring Nurse award for her global impact, is a dedicated community health nurse and midwife from Kenya who wished to expand her knowledge and practice through education to best serve those in her care. Having earned her bachelor and master’s degrees from the College, she is now studying for her PhD.

For her dissertation, Sr. Jackline is examining the vast clinical data of USAID-funded maternal child health clinics that treat HIV positive pregnant women in Kenya, a country with a high burden of this infection. She hopes to determine what factors promote good maternal and infant outcomes of HIV positive women in Kenya, with the goal of better supporting the health of mothers and their babies.  Sr. Jackline was also an investigator of a Delphi study to determine ethical principles and guidelines of global health nursing practice.  The findings were recently published in Nursing Outlook.  She will be further developing this research with nurses from African nations. While at Villanova, she also serves as a Global Health Diplomat for the Center for Global and Public Health, visiting classes that will be participating in international learning experiences and sharing the expectations of host country receiving agencies and best practices for visiting students to low-income countries.

Introduced by alumna Jennifer Graebe, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, director, Accreditation in Nursing Professional Development and Joint Accreditation for the American Nurses Credentialing Center, Dr. McDermott-Levy spoke on “Engaging Nurses in the Health Impact of Climate Change in Finland.” Her lively lecture was based on her experience in the country after receiving a Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Health and Environmental Sciences Award for teaching and research in the fall semester. Her work focused on the health impacts of climate change in Finland. While in Europe, she was invited to speak on "Nurses, Climate Change & Health: A Growing Movement" at the Global Climate & Health Summit, in conjunction with COP24, in Poland. The summit was sponsored by WHO, Global Climate & Health Alliance, European Committee of the Regions, & Pro Silesia.

“Treat the planet as our patient,” said Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy talking about her Fulbright research and teaching related to climate change. She later had members of the audience discuss what one thing they would do to have a positive impact on climate change.