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School of Nursing vice dean chosen for national award

Posted: Monday, July 14, 2014 · Volume: XLVII · Issue: 13

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Julie C. Novak, D.N.Sc., RN, CPNP, FAANP, FAAN, has received several national and regional awards in recent months. The vice dean for practice and engagement in the School of Nursing is a national leader in pediatric and family health.
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Julie C. Novak, D.N.Sc., RN, CPNP, FAANP, FAAN, has received several national and regional awards in recent months. The vice dean for practice and engagement in the School of Nursing is a national leader in pediatric and family health. clear graphic

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By Lety Laurel

SAN ANTONIO (June 27, 2014) — A national leader in pediatric and family health nursing from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, often called a pioneer in nurse-managed clinics, has been awarded the American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ highest honor.

Julie C. Novak, D.N.Sc., RN, CPNP, FAANP, FAAN, received the Nancy Sharp Cutting Edge Award June 21 in Nashville, Tenn. She was recognized for her leadership in innovative health-care services, technologies and advocacy that advance nurse practitioner practice and patient care.

This comes on the heels of receiving the Nursing Honorary Imagemaker Award and the Ruth Stewart Award from the Texas Nurses’ Association and Sigma Theta Tau International in May.

National recognition

The Nancy Sharp Cutting Edge Award recognizes nurse practitioners who demonstrate leadership and advocacy on behalf of their peers and patients. It was created in 1996 by the American College of Nurse Practitioners Board of Directors in honor of Nancy J. Sharp, who was the founding executive director of the group.

“Nancy Sharp is a bright, bold and audacious leader, and an innovator and advocate—a big-picture visionary,” said Dr. Novak, vice dean for practice and engagement in the School of Nursing. “It was an honor to be chosen from among 50,000 members, most of whom are leaders in their own right. To receive an award named for Nancy is very special as I so admire her.”

Dr. Novak holds the Thelma and Joseph Crow Endowed Professorship and is the executive director of the UT Nursing Clinical Enterprise, the Student Health Center, and Employee Health and Wellness Clinic, which received a gold-level recognition for the City of San Antonio’s Healthy Workplace Award in May. Dr. Novak also leads child and family health projects at the Avance Community Partnership Clinic and Healy-Murphy Wellness Center.

Strong advocate for advanced nursing education and improved patient care

In a career spanning more than 40 years, Dr. Novak has developed, taught and achieved funding for Advanced Practice Nursing, Doctor of Nursing programs and global community and public health initiatives in international settings. She has authored more than 70 publications including journals, book chapters and a textbook. She has developed and implemented international projects in Russia, Estonia, the Philippines, China, South Africa and Mexico.

“I tell my students and project collaborators that working with diverse communities is like a dance, and the community always leads the dance,” said Dr. Novak. “It’s all about social justice, capacity building, mutual respect and leadership development at the local community level. The local resident leaders are the ground troops. We need bold, innovative, sustainable engagement and partnerships that promote a healthier future for families.”

Respect from her peers

Richard Ricciardi, Ph.D., NP, FAANP, FAAN, director at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Washington, D.C., wrote in his letter of recommendation that Dr. Novak should be recognized for her contributions to the field.

“Dr. Novak has been on the front lines of developing and implementing nurse-managed delivery care models, whether to advance school health for underserved children or low-income residents in rural and urban settings,” he wrote. “She has made an indelible and lasting impact as the quintessential role model for all nurse practitioners.”

Wide-ranging research

Dr. Novak has received more than $25 million in grants to support her research in a range of subjects, from child and family health promotion and nurse-managed clinics, to tobacco control and global healthcare.

“There are 3.5 million registered nurses and nurse practitioners in the U.S.,” she said. “If we are allowed to practice to the full extent of our education and training, we can effectively address access issues and promote health and wellness across populations and settings.”

Leader in delivering care through nurse-managed clinics

Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAANP, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing at the Health Science Center, calls Dr. Novak an innovator and transformational leader.

“She has been a pioneer who continues to be on the leading edge of new service delivery models to enhance access to care through nurse-managed clinics, thereby instilling evidence and excitement in the role of registered nurses and nurse practitioners in improving the Triple Aim of health care reform,” she said. The Triple Aim addresses:
  • Access issues, including the patient’s experience and satisfaction with care,
  • Improved quality and safety, and
  • Cost effectiveness to optimize the health care system.

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