Nursing professor honored at annual women's health conference
Women helping women — the philosophy can trigger stronger communities, healthier women and happier people. It is the guiding principle behind the work of Dr. Pat Kelly, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, and is the reason she was nominated as this year's honoree for KLRN's Speaking of Women's Health conference.
The Speaking of Women's Health Foundation teaches women to make informed decisions about their health, well-being and safety. Dr. Kelly's tireless work with nursing students, at-risk adolescents and disadvantaged women in San Antonio fulfills that mission, and earned her the spotlight at the Sept. 8 event.
"From listening to women in San Antonio, we get the same message that has been put forward by the World Health Organization: Health is not just the absence of disease, it involves feeling good and being able to live and work in a productive manner," Dr. Kelly said.
"Personally, I am honored to receive this nomination. It recognizes the importance of working in collaboration with the community to achieve that goal."
Collaboration is an effort Dr. Kelly knows well. She worked with community leaders, local schools and young girls to develop prevention programs like "Girls World" and "Teen World 2000." She also is a founding member of the Martinez Street Women's Center, a community based women's health resource facility.
"Dr. Kelly brings strong creativity, expertise in community and a sense of adventure to every project," said Dr. Janet Allan, dean of the School of Nursing. "She is successful in obtaining support because she is able to clearly identify critical areas of need within specific groups in our community and develop mutual and respectful partnerships to develop solutions to meet those needs."
But Dr. Kelly doesn't take all the credit — she says it belongs to all the women in our community. "Women working together in our communities can make a difference," Dr. Kelly said.
Dr. Kelly has been a nurse practitioner since 1980. In addition to her community projects, her research interests include health for women and children with HIV, substance abuse treatment, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases.
The Speaking of Women's Health conference is held in 31 cities nationwide. The five-day conference began in 1996 and usually sells out a year in advance. This year's event was held at the Adam's Mark Hotel in downtown San Antonio.