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SON Alumna Honored With Breakthrough Leader Award

AnnMarie Walton, MPH ‘01, BSN ‘03, a clinical oncology nurse at the N.C. Cancer Hospital, has been selected as one of ten nurses nationwide to receive the new Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing award presented by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a joint initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The award celebrates nurse leadership and the importance of efforts by nurses to improve health and health care.

After noticing that young Hispanic men, primarily farm workers, were being diagnosed with leukemia and dying in their 20s, Ms. Walton launched a study to understand how agricultural workers could better protect themselves in the field. “While I am not an epidemiologist, I think it is important that health care providers consider the environmental or systemic factors that affect our patients’ health,” said Walton.

Ms. Walton is an American Cancer Society Doctoral Scholar, a Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar and recipient of an NIH Fellowship in Cancer, Aging, and End of Life. She is on track to earn her PhD in nursing from the University of Utah. She has also worked with the North Carolina Action Coalition to increase nursing representation on state governing boards.

“AnnMarie has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of agricultural workers and health care workers,” said Connie Mullinix, coordinating council member of the North Carolina Action Coalition. “This award recognizes the incredible progress AnnMarie’s leadership has made for the people of North Carolina.”