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Nursing Professor Deborah Smith Earns National Award for Excellence

Deborah Smith. Gonzaga photo.

Deborah Smith, senior lecturer in the School of Nursing and Human Physiology. Gonzaga photo.

SPOKANE, Washington – The American Association of Nurse Practitioners has honored Deborah Smith, senior lecturer in Gonzaga University’s School of Nursing and Human Physiology, with its 2015 Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence. This prestigious annual award is given to one outstanding nurse practitioner in each state.

“I am so touched and grateful to represent the absolutely superb Nurse Practitioners in Washington. It has been such a daily joy to be part of this profession,” Smith said. She will be recognized for this achievement in June during the 2015 AANP National Conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

“Deb exemplifies all of the qualities and attributes one would expect to find in a nurse practitioner,” said Brenda Stevenson Marshall, dean of the School of Nursing and Human Physiology. “Her careful attention to detail, willingness to engage in nonjudgmental listening, and accuracy in diagnosis and care make her an excellent role model for each student in our Family Nurse Practitioner program. It is an honor and a pleasure to be her dean.”

Among her many responsibilities, Smith is a leader representing Gonzaga’s role in a five-year, $5 million U.S. Veterans Affairs Center of Excellence grant involving five VA hospitals nationwide. Gonzaga’s School of Nursing and Human Physiology is partnering with the Boise VA Medical Center to implement a multidisciplinary training program for graduate psychologists, pharmacologists, internal medicine physicians, and nurse practitioners. This shared training environment has been developed in the context for the “Medical Home,” a clinical model that aims to optimize primary health care and maximize satisfaction for both patients and caregivers.

The broad goal of this research is to better understand the developmental process of creating high functioning cross-disciplinary teams, Smith said, adding that one of the clear benefits of cross-disciplinary work is a synergy of diverse knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The AANP is the largest full-service national professional membership organization for nurse practitioners of all specialties. The AANP represents the interests of nurse practitioners nationwide, advocating for the active role of nurse practitioners as providers of high quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered healthcare.

For more information, please contact Deborah Smith at (509) 313-5536.

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