Dr. Rita Munley Gallagher is the American Public Health Association (APHA), Public Health Nursing Section, 2012 winner of the prestigious Ruth B. Freeman Award. The award was given on October 30 in San Francisco, CA during the American Public Health Association’s 140thAnnual Meeting. Each year the APHA honors an individual who has had a distinguished career in public health administration, education, policy, practice and research, as did Dr. Freeman.
Ruth B. Freeman served as nursing services administrator for the American National Red Cross and was appointed professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1962. She received the Florence Nightingale medal of the International Red Cross, and wrote authoritative textbooks on public health nursing. Dr. Gallagher has had just as distinguished a career as a Senior Policy Fellow in the National Center for Nursing Quality, representing ANA at National Quality Forum and Healthcare Quality Alliance. As a Senior Policy Fellow at the American Nurses Association from 1993 to 2010, her portfolio included, among other foci, the Nursing Quality Initiative that predated the seminal IOM report. Dr. Gallagher’s work was instrumental in the development of ANA’s Nursing Care Performance Measures Project and the development of the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators.
She remains a consultant and advisor for ANA and has recently been named an at-large member of the Nursing Advisory Council to The Joint Commission. She has also worked tirelessly for the American Public Health Association, and the PHN Section as Chair, Co-Chair twice, Local Arrangements co-chair, and Development Committee member of the PHN Section. She has also represented us well as a member of the APHA Governing Council since 2003.
Dr. Gallagher remains an inspiration to all members of the PHN Section for what public health nurses can accomplish when we focus on the health of the population.
By The Southwester Staff.