Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden Professor Honored

Patricia Suplee

Patricia Suplee

CAMDEN — Patricia Suplee, an assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden, has been honored by the New Jersey March of Dimes as a 2014 Nurse of the Year.

Through its Nurse of the Year Awards, the March of Dimes recognizes nurses who demonstrate exceptional patient care, compassion, and service while serving as a health care provider, educator, researcher, or chapter volunteer or advisor.

Suplee, a Medford resident, was recognized in the research category. The Rutgers University–Camden professor joins 18 other New Jersey nurses honored in various other categories by the March of Dimes this year, including two others from Rutgers University. Maureen Esteves, an associate dean for undergraduate education at the Rutgers School of Nursing–Newark, received a Nurse of the Year award in the nurse educator category; and Christy McCoy, a Rutgers–Newark nursing student was honored in the student nurse category.

“I would like to thank the March of Dimes for acknowledging and respecting my work,” Suplee says. “As a faculty member at Rutgers–Camden, my research affords me the opportunity to improve healthcare for women who reside in local marginalized communities.”

Suplee’s research focuses on improving overall health care for minority women living in underserved communities. She currently is analyzing birth data to describe maternal health and birth outcomes using GIS mapping technology. Data will be geocoded by neighborhood areas to create maps. Ultimately, this unique database will be used to guide future tailored interventions to specific vulnerable populations of women.

For that study, Suplee received the March of Dimes Margaret Comerford Freda “Saving Babies, Together” Grant Award from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses. The award, presented in June, is given annually to a researcher whose work reflects the common commitment of the March of Dimes and AWHONN to promote health among women and newborns.

Suplee earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and has more than 25 years of professional nursing experience caring for childbearing women.

More than 5,000 nurses were nominated nationwide for March of Dimes Nurse of the Year awards, including 209 in New Jersey. The winners have played a critical role in improving the health of New Jersey’s mothers and babies, according to the nonprofit organization.

New Jersey award recipients were announced at a special awards gala held on Nov. 19 at Pines Manor in Edison, which included 145 finalists representing 40 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state.

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