FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 14, 2020
For More Information Contact – Larry Hill, (757) 683-9175
Health Commissioner Announces 2020 Public Health Nurse of the Year
Annual award ceremony commemorates tribute to nurses
(Newport News, Va.)— State Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver today presented the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) 2020 Public Health Nurse of the Year award to Amber Harmon, who is a Senior Public Health Nurse in the Communicable Disease Department at the Peninsula Health District. Harmon’s dedication, leadership, and her outreach to educate, volunteer and support the mission of public health has led to her recognition as the Virginia 2020 Public Health Nurse of the Year.
“Amber represents the outstanding work our public health nurses here in Virginia do,” said Dr. Oliver. “She understands the standards of public health and integrates them into her daily practice. I am extremely proud to honor her as our 2020 Public Health Nurse of the Year, and I want to thank all of our public health nurses for their tireless dedication and commitment to the communities they serve.”
Amber has been with the Peninsula Health District for three years. In nominating her for this honor, her colleagues describe her as “a dedicated public health person who leads by example;” and, “someone who has a special talent for knowing exactly what is needed.” This past year she led the charge during an investigation of a contagious virus at the city jail and more recently, she is working on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.
Runners up for this year’s prestigious award included two Regional Nurses of the Year: Stephanie Toney, Richmond City Health District (Central Region) and Dietlinde Doyle, Prince William Health District (Northern Region). Congratulations to these two dedicated nurses.
“Public Health Nurses like Amber, Stephanie and Dietlinde embrace every role with passion for the profession and with a strong commitment to protecting and promoting the health of all people in Virginia,” said Deputy Commissioner for Community Health Services Robert W. Hicks. “Thank you to all of Virginia’s public health nurses for their commitment to making sure their clients and families receive the best care possible.”
Virginia’s Public Health Nurse of the Year is usually announced during National Nurses Week, which is traditionally celebrated in early May. This year nurses are being recognized for the entire month of May as the American Nurses Association celebrates the Year of the Nurse, in conjunction with the World Health Organization’s celebration of the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. The Year of the Nurse honors the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale. To learn more about public health nursing in Virginia, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/nursing/.