May 12, 2011
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Virginia Department of Health Announces 2011 Nurse of the Year
Fairfax County Health Department Nurse Honored
(RICHMOND, Va.) For nearly a century, public health nurses have played a critical role in responding to emergencies. Most recently, Virginia public health nurses served on the frontlines during recovery efforts after an unprecedented number of tornadoes cut a path of destruction through the state. During the response to these storms, public health nurses provided support and essential care, such as triaging injuries and illness, providing vaccinations to prevent disease and helping hundreds of residents prevent further injury after the storms.
In celebration of National Nurses Week and the contributions its public health nurses make toward the health of all Virginians, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recognizes Elizabeth Miller-Zuber, R.N., as its 2011 Nurse of the Year.
“As a public health nurse, she has most definitely had an impact on those she has served and in doing so has lifted and guided each person to a healthier place,” said VDH Director of Public Health Nursing Joanne Wakeham, R.N., Ph.D. “Beth is trusted for what she knows and her knowledge is translated into care,” Dr. Wakeham added.
Since joining the Fairfax County Health Department in 1995, Miller-Zuber’s many contributions include developing a school-based trending system for gastrointestinal illnesses and flu. As a result of her extensive involvement in the investigation of a human rabies case, she co-authored an article in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report. Miller-Zuber also serves as a trainer for the state’s online disease reporting system and assisted in developing a video promoting volunteerism that is being used by several Fairfax County agencies.
Other finalists for this year’s VDH award are Nurse Practitioner Andrea Bossous from the Portsmouth Health Department and Public Health Nurse Doris Elliott from the Chesterfield Health Department.
National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the efforts of registered nurses on improving health care at the individual, family, group and community levels. Annually, National Nurses Week begins on May 6, marked as RN Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession.
For more information about public health nursing, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov.