Awards are open now: Please submit an award nomination form (submission deadline June 1, 2023)

The Lillian Wald Service Award honors agencies, individuals, organizations, or media for depicting exemplary public health nursing, especially through legislative, professional, or public advocacy.

The Ruth B. Freeman Award honors an individual who has had a distinguished career in public health administration, education, policy, practice, or research.

The Public Health Nurse Creative Achievement Award recognizes an agency's, individual's, organization's, or media's exceptional and creative contribution to public health nursing administration, education, practice, or research.

The Feleta Wilson Award, renamed after the award's first recipient, recognizes a mid-career RN or APN, who is an enthusiastic and effective leader in nursing. The award winner exhibits dedication in meeting community needs and benefitting underserved populations.

The Junior Investigator Award, awarded by the Research Committee, honors an early-career (NIH definition) PHN Section member's work since completing a doctoral education.

Awards Committee Chair: Ann Becker

2022 Award Recipients

The 2022 Public Health Nurse Creative Achievement Award was presented to Michele Lani Bray, DNP, MS, PHNA-BC, RN Dr. Bray is a Native Hawaiian scholar and registered nurse with more than 30years of nursing experience. She is a doctorate prepared nurse and has an advance practice degree in public health nursing. Dr. Bray is passionate about working with the underserved communities, Native Hawaiian population, and integrating innovative means to improve the quality of care provided to individuals, families, and communities in Hawai’i.

The 2022 Lillian Wald Service Award was presented to Kim Decker, PhD, RN, CNS. Dr. Kim Decker is a Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing at Indiana University. Her research expertise investigates community health nursing educational interventions and outcomes. She teaches community health in the undergraduate program and focuses on vulnerable populations in relation to social determinants of health. Currently Dr. Decker directs an interdisciplinary social emotional learning program in multiple school districts in the region impacting more than 450 school-age students per semester.

The 2022 Ruth B. Freeman Award was presented to Patricia J. Kelly, PhD, MPH, APRN  For 40 years, Patricia Kelly has been a leading scholar activist nurse. Her work has focused on women’s health, including adolescents, those incarcerated, and those with HIV. She is widely known as a funded researcher, a teacher, a mentor of junior faculty, and a leader in APHA and the field of Public Health Nursing including the editorship of the international journal of that name.

The 2022 Feleta Wilson Award was presented to Kashica J. Webber-Ritchey, PhD, MHA, RN Kashica Webber-Ritchey, PhD, MHA, RN is a health promotion researcher with over ten years of clinical practice experience. She possesses expertise in quantitative, qualitative, and systematic review research methodologies. She is currently Assistant Professor at DePaul University School of Nursing. Her research work includes leading qualitative nursing scientist on the “Nursing During COVID-19” research team and reducing childhood obesity in African Americans using parent dyadic approach. 

The 2022 Emerging Researcher Award was presented to Randi Beth Singer, PhD, MSN, MEd, CNM, RN An Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, College of Nursing, Dr. Singer is a sexual health researcher with a strong history of direct clinical practice. Her research focuses on improving options for and access to culturally safe sexual healthcare for underserved populations. In partnership with community stakeholders, Dr. Singer is the PI for an NIH funded study entitled “Centering Those Engaged in Transactional Sex: A PrEP Innovation for Getting to Zero”. 

Public Health Nursing Section Award Winners, 1972-Present