Nurse practitioners are known for giving back in times of need—locally and globally. The ANPF Humanitarian Awards recognize key leading NP humanitarians. These NPs were nominated by their peers and have made outstanding contributions to humanitarian work both domestically and abroad.
Teresa Gardner, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, FAANP
Teresa Gardner, an AANP Fellow, has made a significant and lasting contribution serving the vulnerable patient population in the rural Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. As the executive director of a free clinic, she was award the Virginia Governor’s Award for Volunteerism for her work spearheading the Remote Area Medical (RAM) Health Expedition, the nation’s largest free healthcare outreach.
Dr. Gardner started the RAM program to support unmet healthcare needs in this region stricken by chronic poverty and lack of healthcare resources, especially with eye and dental care. Through unprecedented community collaboration with over 200 organizations, she has been able to provide eye exams, prescription eyeglasses, dental exams, and extensive medical services to the area. Since its inception, nearly 60,000 patients have been served.
Through her diligent work, Dr. Gardner has brought national attention to this often overlooked region. She has tirelessly worked to bring a voice to the voiceless, and it is through her vision that this rural community has received so much of the support it needs.
Dr. Gardner received the 2012 Domestic Humanitarian Award.
Mary Behrens, RN, MS, FNP-BC
Mary Behrens is described by her colleagues as “taking innovation, integrity, and creativity to a higher level in nursing and humanitarian activities.”
On a trip to Vietnam in the late 1980s, Ms. Behrens started the Friendship Bridge program upon learning that systematic nursing education did not exist there. Nurses in Vietnam were desperate for a sustainable education pathway, and by 1995 classes began despite the fact that the U.S. did not have diplomatic relations with Vietnam at the time! A School of Nursing was born.
Ms. Behrens has continued her relationship with Vietnam’s nurses and nursing school throughout the decades, teaching classes, growing and guiding leadership development, and engaging in professional issues. The Friendship Bridge program recently graduated its first master-prepared nurses, a testament to Ms. Behrens’ innovation, creativity, dedication, and determination.
In addition to creating enormous change in Vietnam, Ms. Behrens has also testified to the World Health Organization in Geneva about the international nursing shortage. She has been a nursing advocate and a supporting force for change.
Ms. Behrens received the 2012 International Long-term Humanitarian Award.
Lindani H. Mlotshwa-Sibanda RN, MSN, FNP
Lindani Sibanda’s warm and compassionate nature impressed her graduate school colleagues as she worked toward her M.S. in Nursing. Imagine how much more impressed they were when they discovered that in addition to a full-time nursing job and graduate studies, Ms. Sibanda had founded and ran a charity in her native Zimbabwe!
Since 2005, the charity, Hope for Mtshabezi, has served the people of the Mtshabezi region of Zimbabwe, woefully lacking in healthcare services. Over the years, the charity has equipped the region’s hospital with medications and medical equipment. Originally run by nurses only, Hope for Mtshbezi sponsored a visiting physician and later hired a permanent physician as well as a surgeon.
Ms. Sibanda was inspired to start the charity after several of her family members died due to the grossly inadequate and underdeveloped Zimbabwean healthcare system. She was motivated to work so that others might avoid similar tragedies. Ms. Sibanda has succeeded in increasing access to healthcare for the people of Mtshabezi, and her compassion, pragmatism and perseverance will continue to have a positive impact on the health of the entire community.
Ms. Sibanda received the 2012 International Humanitarian Award.
Susan J. Calloway, RN, PhD, FNP-BC
Susan Calloway’s nursing career has focused on addressing healthcare needs both through her practice and volunteerism and leadership within her community.
Dr. Calloway established a soup kitchen for the homeless after learning that area soup kitchens were closed Sundays. She developed a Sunday breakfast program that has been in continuous operation for 18 years and serves over 4,800 meals annually.
She has made an impact in many communities. While in the Austin area, she organized a coalition of teachers, parents, students, civic leaders, ministers and law enforcement officials to address high rates of drug and alcohol use among teens. Upon moving to the Midwest, she established her practice in a rural health clinic in the poorest county in Kansas. There, she developed a weight management program open to all community members. The fee? Donation of a canned good to the local food bank.
Most recently, Dr. Calloway’s efforts have centered around advocacy for mental health issues. She was appointed by the Governor to the Missouri Suicide Prevention Advisory Committee and to the Mental Health Transformation project in Missouri. Her efforts have touched many lives.
Dr. Calloway received the 2011 Domestic Humanitarian Award.
Katia Reinert, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC
Katia Reinert is a family nurse practitioner and public health clinical nurse specialist with training in depression treatment and the integration of faith and health.
She has traveled all over the world, on average twice a year, with the primary focus on providing medical care and health education to vulnerable populations. She works to improve mental health outcomes for women in poverty-stricken countries, with a focus on prevention and interventions for depression, anxiety, gender-based violence, building resilience when facing crisis, and the promotion of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
Ms. Reinert has led workshops, lectures and seminars all over the world. At a Women’s Congress in Nigeria, she presented mental health lectures on depression and gender-based violence for over 4,000 women representing more than 20 African countries. In South Africa, she presented seminars on mental health, depression, and resilience factors to 2,000 women. For a week in Madagascar, she spoke to vulnerable women at a leadership and empowerment workshop. After presenting health promotion and awareness workshops to women in the Seychelles, she met with the Minister of Health and First Lady there, to discuss strategies and policies that could improve the health of women in Seychelles.
The women, children and families touched by her clinical expertise and caring, compassionate spirit experienced a substantial positive impact not only on their physical health but on their mental and emotional wellbeing.
Ms. Reinert received the 2011 International Humanitarian Award.
Lorna Schumann, PhD, NP-C, ANPRN, BC, ACNP, FAANP, ARNP
Lorna Schumann is Associate Professor at the Washington State University Intercollegiate College of Nursing, Co-director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program and a Consultant for the International Council of Nurses. She provides care as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Group Health Urgent Care and volunteers at an infectious disease clinic. She is one of only a few nurse practitioners to receive both the AANP State Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence and the AANP State Award for Nurse Practitioner Advocate of the Year, both in Washington State. She is a Fellow of the AANP and Chair Commissioner of the AANP Certification Program.
Dr. Schumann is an internationally-recognized clinical expert in several areas. She has both led and participated in numerous humanitarian trips, to Ecuador, Vietnam, Ukraine, Crimea, Pakistan, Egypt, India and Honduras, going to several of these countries repeatedly. She is an expert on providing and transporting medications and medical supplies for these trips and according to the specifications of the countries where they are to be used.
She is most noted for publications and presentations on infectious disease, including such subjects as global infections (avian flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome, malaria, dengue fever, West Nile Virus), wound care, HPV, HIV and herpes simplex. She has presented locally, nationally and internationally on these subjects and others. She believes that humanitarian work is rewarding, culturally enriching, and allows for an appreciation of the medical care so often available in the United States.
Dr.Schumann received the 2011 International Long-term Humanitarian Award.