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Penn Nursing Re-designated a WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing has been re-designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership for an additional four-year term. As a Collaborating Center, Penn Nursing commits to advancing the workplan of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) related to human resource development and the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) during each four-year cycle of work.

Under the Directorship of Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel, PhD; Co-director Eileen Lake, PhD; and with Nancy Biller as Associate Director, we will seek to increase workforce capacity to improve maternal health in Latin America. The terms of reference are as follows:

  • Collaborate to promote maternal health and reduce maternal mortality in the region.
  • Collaborate with the PAHO/WHO to develop leadership in nursing education.
  • Collaborate with PAHO/WHO to develop leadership in nursing research.

“We feel strongly that these focused terms of reference play to our strengths as a School and University and provide us many opportunities to make a significant impact in the region,” said Villarruel.  “Many of our Penn Nursing faculty will be involved with these important activities and we will share our work plan with the School in the fall.”

This designation carries on the long-standing legacy begun by former Penn Nursing Dean Claire Fagin, PhD, in 1988 and has continued without interruption by her predecessors Deans Norma Lang, PhD; Neville Strumpf, PhD, and Afaf Meleis, PhD. Even more importantly, it demonstrates our School’s enduring commitment to advancing global health through nursing and midwifery leadership. Not only is Penn Nursing among the first nursing schools in the US to attain this prestigious designation, it is also the only WHO Collaborating Center at Penn.