Edmond, Oklahoma nurse receives award of excellence in education from leading national nursing association.
She began her teaching career soon after becoming a nurse, teaching medical assistants in an adult education class in Thousand Oaks, California. In 1981 she moved to Oklahoma where she conducted continuing education classes for nurses, physicians and emergency medical personnel. She was also instrumental in the development and continued success of the Office of Perinatal Continuing Education at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. In the early 1990's, Dr. Harris presented educational programs to doctors and nurses in Romania as a World Health Organization Representative.
After retiring from the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Harris co-authored Breastfeeding: A Continuing Education Program for Health Care Providers, which has been used by more than 1,000 health care providers in 15 states.
Dr. Harris does not limit her teaching to formal teaching settings. She has mentored hundreds of nurses across Oklahoma and the world and has reached out to educate not only to the range of health care providers, but also to legislators. Her efforts on the public policy front have helped ensure the passage of legislation critical to improving health care and health care practice in Oklahoma and the nation.
Each year, AWHONN presents its Award of Excellence in Education to an AWHONN member with an outstanding history of educating colleagues and others. Winners have made demonstrated contributions to women's health, obstetric and neonatal nursing education, teaching and knowledge.
"Women and newborns all across the country enjoy better health and health care because of Judith," said AWHONN Executive Director Karen Tucker Thomas. "As a nurse and an educator she has taught not only in the classroom, but in hospitals and other health care settings and the halls of Congress. And the lessons she has taught have made a critical difference in health and health care in Oklahoma and the world."
Dr. Harris holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of California--Los Angeles and a Doctorate in Adult Education from Oklahoma State University. She is also certified as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner.
A leader among the nation's nursing associations, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) serves and represents more than 22,000 health care professionals in the U.S., Canada and abroad. AWHONN members are committed to delivering superior health care to women and newborns in hospitals, in home health and ambulatory care settings. AWHONN members' rich diversity of skills and experience make AWHONN the voice for women's health and neonatal nursing. AWHONN received a 2005 Associations Advance America Award from the American Society of Association Executives for Promoting Health Among Hispanic Women through Toda Mujer, a Spanish language publication distributed free of charge to over 500,000 women through their nurses.