Celebrated community and public health professor Vickie Southall received the 2022 Public Health Nurse Award from the Virginia Nurses Association at the group's VNF gala Sept. 10 near Washington, D.C.
The award, bestowed annually, "recognizes public health nurses' contributions to public health nursing practice within their agency, community, region, state, nation, or globally by providing leadership in professional organizations, demonstrating outstanding public health nursing performance, or other accomplishments related to public health nursing."
"She is constantly finding innovative and meaningful ways for her students to engage in public health nursing and to contribute to the health of the community through their learning activities."Pam Cipriano, dean emerita, who nominated Vickie Southall for the VNF Public Service Award
Southall, beloved among her students for her tireless enthusiasm and connectivity, is an award-winning educator who has, over her long tenure at UVA School of Nursing, created exciting and varied clinical opportunities and experiences for her students. A lifelong resident of Louisa, Va., Southall has close ties to the Louisa County Resource Council, a food and clothing bank, Louisa County Public Schools, and the Louisa County Department of Health, sites where her students hone their practices and gain experience in public health nursing.
She has been a critical advocate for the legislative movement to put a school nurse in every public school in Virginia, and was a key faculty member who championed nursing students' involvement as COVID vaccinators and educators in early 2021.
read COMMUNITY EXPOSURE: A day in the life of community health nursing students (UVA Today 2016)
Throughout COVID and long before, Southall has been instrumental in nursing students' deep involvement in and exposure to varied community health settings. She's taken small clinical groups of nursing students to acupuncture clinics, to equine sanctuaries where children with cognitive disabilities receive therapy, and into classrooms where her students do everything from teaching youngsters about pet safety and hand hygiene to teaching CPR, Stop the Bleed programs, and the Heimlich maneuver.
Southall was among the key faculty members who, in late winter 2021, prepared third-year students as COVID vaccine educators and vaccinators during the initial rollout at clinics operated by the Blue Ridge Health District and UVA Health.
"So much of what we do is creative problem-solving. Putting these students in the professional role - under gentle supervision - opens their eyes to the world outside the textbook, and outside the walls of the medical center."Prof. Vickie Southall, award winning community and public health professor
Southall, who continues to pick up frozen COVID vaccines each week and bring them to her husband's family medicine practice where she helps vaccinate and educate community members, is the School's longest serving faculty member.
Southall serves in numerous organizations in the community, is the school nurse expert for the Virginia School Mental Health Partnership, and established the Louisa County dental voucher program for residents in need of financial support for oral care, among many other initiatives. In 2019, she won an all-UVA Teaching Award for her classroom creativity, and has been repeatedly lauded by her hometown and beyond for her support, mentoring, and energy, including the creation, in 1999, of the "Vickie Southall Excellence in Nursing Award," given each year to a graduating Louisa County high school senior.
Finalists for Virginia Nurse Association 2022 awards also include:
- Beth Epstein, associate dean for academic programs - nominated for the Nurse Researcher Award by prof. Jeanne Alhusen
- Kathryn Reid, professor – nominated for the Nurse Researcher Award by Sentara Martha Jefferson CNO Mina Ford
- Elizabeth Taliaferro-Jones, assistant professor – who received an honorable mention for the Nurse Educator Award and was nominated by Maureen Metzger