The American Nurses Association presented U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), MA, BSN, RN, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, with the 2015 President’s Award July 23 during the ANA’s Membership Assembly meeting in Washington, D.C. Capps, who recently announced her retirement from Congress, is being honored for being a champion for nurses.
“Rep. Capps’ tireless advocacy on behalf of nurses is greatly appreciated and will be sorely missed,” ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, said in a news release. “Lois is truly a special leader who brings the voice of nursing to Capitol Hill in a way that fosters a better understanding of healthcare policy decisions and their impact on healthcare professionals, individuals and the broader community. This award is ANA’s way of honoring her significant contributions.”
According to her website, Capps has spearheaded and passed legislation to address the national nursing shortage, detect and prevent domestic violence against women, curb underage drinking, improve mental health services, provide emergency defibrillators to local communities, bring CPR instruction to schools and improve Medicare coverage for patients suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Before serving 17 years in Congress, Capps spent 20 years as a nurse and public healthcare advocate for the Santa Barbara (Calif.) School District. Capps founded and served as the director of Santa Barbara County’s Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting Project and the Parent and Child Enrichment Center. She also taught for 10 years as a part-time instructor of early childhood education at Santa Barbara City College.
In 2013, Capps was honored with the association’s inaugural Congressional Nurse Advocate award, which recognizes members of Congress who champion legislation that helps the nursing profession.
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