Penn Nursing Dean Honored for Shaping Health Policy
Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel received the 2021 Health Care Leader Award from the American Academy of Nursing (Academy). The award recognizes her incredible impact in shaping health policy. It was presented during the 2021 Health Policy Conference, Healthy Lives for All People: Advancing Equity, Science, and Trust, held in a hybrid format October 7-9, 2021.
Created in 2008, the Health Care Leader Award recognizes an influential national leader dedicated to improving the health of the nation through contributions to organizational excellence. “Dr. Villarruel is an invaluable leader who understands how health is achieved and the pivotal role nurses play in promoting it,” said Academy President Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Her career has demonstrated her profound dedication to improving community wellness by launching programs and centers for research, as well as serving as a leader and advisor to the federal government and countless organizations. I am thrilled to present her with the Academy’s Health Care Leader Award.”
About Dean Villarruel
Villarruel, PhD, RN FAAN, is the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing and Director of the School’s WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership. As a bilingual and bicultural researcher, Villarruel has extensive research and practice experience with Latino populations, health promotion, and disparities. She currently co-leads the NIH funded Philadelphia Community Engagement Alliance to address COVID-19 Inequities (CEAL) a coalition to optimize the rollout and real-time evaluation of interventions focused on COVID-19 disparities across diverse populations within the Philadelphia region.
Villarruel holds many leadership positions. She is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia; she serves as Chair of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Culture of Health Program Advisory Committee, Chair of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows Subcommittee for the Selection Review Process, and Co-chair of the Strategic Advisory Council of the AARP/RWJ Future of Nursing Campaign for Action. She is also founder of the CDC-implemented program, ¡Cuídate!, designated as an Academy Edge Runner, which aims to reduce risky sexual behavior among Latino adolescents.
She has received numerous honors and awards including the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award, the Globy Award for Educational Leadership from the Global Philadelphia Association, and the prestigious Ohtli Award from the government of Mexico.