Kathleen M. Brown, PhD, received the 2009 Bridge of Courage Award from Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR). WOAR has a long standing history of women's advocacy and became the first rape crisis center in the United States when organized in 1971. Dr. Brown received the award because she has "dedicated her career to researching and meeting the needs of sexual assault survivors" as an advocate, health care provider, nurse consultant, educator, and researcher. WOAR noted that she brings her passion and expertise to the field and to women everywhere.
Dr. Brown has served on the Philadelphia Sexual Assault Coalition, developed new data forms for adult and pediatric sexual assault patients, and initiated a proposal for a Mobile Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner team. She will be inducted into the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) as a Fellow in November of 2009. Her nominators wrote the following about her contributions to nursing:
Dr. Brown is one of the few pioneer nurses whose fusion of nursing practice with the field of criminal law has resulted in advocacy and support for victims of sexual assault through the development of sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs. Dr. Brown's expertise in women's health and sexual assault provided practice and educational leadership to help create and launch SANE into mainstream health care and legal practice regionally in the 1990s and then nationally and internationally a decade later. She has disseminated her work as a leader in forensic nursing through consultation to prosecutors and defense attorneys nationally and is a consultant to the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp, developing curriculum to teach U.S. Army prosecutors about sexual assault nurse examiners. She has been the sole nurse expert in numerous criminal trials and courts martial. She implemented the first sexual assault response team in Pennsylvania, designed and implemented SANE programs in two-thirds of counties in Pennsylvania, and trained more than 1000 SANE nurses in the region to serve as a national model. Her protocols have been implemented into state policy and the American Prosecutors Research Institute, a division of the National Institute of Justice. She has authored numerous publications targeting influential groups in nursing, law, and criminal justice. Nursing care of sexual assault victims has been made visible in courtrooms and health settings due to her leadership to implement and grow forensic nursing and her vision of health equity for women.
The Center for Health Equity Research is proud that Dr. Kathleen Brown is a Center member, and honors her for her outstanding contributions to forensic nursing science, her development of nursing knowledge about women when they are at their most vulnerable, and her innovative curricular contributions to our next generation of women's health practitioners.