For the first time, the New York Academy of Medicine has chosen a nurse to receive the John Stearns Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Clinical Practice, according to a news release.
Elaine Larson, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate dean for research, Columbia University School of Nursing, New York City, was selected as the 2014 recipient. She is a pioneer in promoting hand hygiene for infection prevention and control.
Larson was presented with the award on Nov. 6 during The New York Academy of Medicines 167th anniversary Discourse and Awards.
She is a fellow in the Institute of Medicine and has advised the World Health Organization on best practices for hand washing. She has been editor of the American Journal of Infection Control since 1994 and has published more than 250 journal articles, four books and a number of book chapters in the areas of infection prevention, epidemiology and clinical research.
She served on the Presidents Committee for Gulf War Veterans Illnesses and the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the CDC, and was a chairwoman of the CDCs Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee.
Larson has also served as a consultant in infection control internationally, contributing to prevention and education efforts in Kuwait, Jordan, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Ghana, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, France and Egypt. She holds a joint appointment at the Mailman School of Public Health, where she is a professor of epidemiology.
The NYAM medal for lifetime achievement in clinical practice was established in 1992 and named for John Stearns, the first president of the academy. It is awarded for extraordinary contributions to clinical practice in disease prevention, treatment, rehabilitation; physician-patient communication; clinical medical education; or medical ethics.
Past recipients include former U.S. surgeons general David Satcher and Julius B. Richmond; neurophysiologist Torsten Wiesel and molecular biologist Joshua Lederberg, winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; and epidemiologist Donald Henderson, recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work in the 1960s to eradicate smallpox.