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University Of Virginia Women’s Center To Give 2005 Distinguished Alumna Award To Denise Geolot, National Director Of Nursing

April 6, 2005 --

Recognizing her leadership roles in nursing and health policy, the University of Virginia Women’s Center will present its 2005 Distinguished Alumna Award to Denise Geolot, who graduated from the School of Nursing in 1970.

Geolot, director of the U.S. Division of Nursing in the Health Resources and Services Administration, will be honored April 22 at a private dinner and will give a public talk in the Rotunda Dome Room at 1:30 p.m. She will discuss her career, looking at federal programs that address the nursing shortage, and how U.Va. prepared her for taking on leadership roles.

“I am honored to be among the recipients of this prestigious award,” Geolot said.

Geolot has devoted her work to modern American health care that is relied on by millions of people nationwide. For more than 30 years, her office has helped provide a safety net of quality nursing services for the underserved in our society.

After receiving her B.S. in Nursing from U.Va., Geolot obtained a master’s degree at the University of Colorado. She then returned to Charlottesville as an instructor in the Nursing School, working with her mentor, Nursing professor Barbara Brodie.

Dr. Richard Edlich soon chose her to lead U.Va.’s emergency nurse practitioner program, after she received her certificate from the program in 1975. This was the first such university-based program in the nation, and Geolot directed it until 1977.

“She joined me in a venture that has helped save literally thousands of lives in the commonwealth of Virginia,” Edlich said.

U.Va.’s emergency medicine program quickly became a respected national model and would go on to become the norm in many university schools of nursing. Geolot also coordinated the Nursing School’s three other model nurse practitioner programs for pediatrics, families and adults.

Her sterling work gained Geolot a national reputation, and she was recruited to serve as a consultant in the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services.

She advanced steadily, being named director of the Division of Nursing in the Health Resources and Services Administration by 2000.

She administers the federal program that provides comprehensive, flexible and effective support for nursing workforce development.

         Geolot’s office makes a daily difference in the lives of some of the United States’ most vulnerable individuals and families, from establishing coordinated care systems to serve residents in rural communities to programs devoted to supporting women in having healthy pregnancies and births. In addition, Geolot serves as a federal spokesperson for nurses nationwide.

She has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, and she is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

An active alumna, Geolot provided ample service to U.Va. as a member of the Health Sciences Advisory Board and continues to be a supporter of nursing scholarships. She received the Nursing Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumna award in 1985, and was inducted into the Raven Society in 2000. She received one of the School of Nursing’s 10 Centennial Heritage Awards in 2001.

The nurse practitioner program has created a strong network among the graduate students and faculty, Geolot said. Alumnae and colleagues gather annually for a fall reunion in Charlottesville and to support the Center for Nursing History Inquiry, which Brodie established.

The U.Va. Women’s Center established the annual Distinguished Alumna Award in 1991 to recognize a female graduate who has demonstrated excellence, leadership and extraordinary commitment to her field.

Contact: Anne Bromley, (434) 924-6861

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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