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The 10th annual School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences' Research Day was held Oct. 28, 2016, in the Norman C. Nelson Student Union at UMMC. The all-day event began with breakfast and selected oral presentations from post-docs. Following the oral presentations, posters filled the Nelson Student Union gymnasium, where the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows showcased their research. During the Distinguished Alumni Luncheon, Dr. Kaye Bender received the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Kaye Bender, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, is the president and CEO of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), a position she has held since 2009. Before coming to the PHAB, she served in both local and state public health practice for the Mississippi State Department of Health, including 12 years as deputy state health officer. She served as associate vice chancellor for nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and dean of the University of Mississippi School of Nursing for six years.
Dr. Bender chaired the Exploring Accreditation Steering Committee, a precursor to the PHAB. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the PHAB is the first and only nonprofit organization to administer accreditation for state, local, tribal and territorial health departments. Since the program launched in 2011, 390 health departments have been involved in the PHAB process, with 217 already receiving accreditation.
Dr. Bender is also principal investigator of a new grant to establish the Public Health National Center for Innovations, a PHAB division designed to support the development, testing and dissemination of innovation models in public health. The center also serves as the coordinating body for a number of allied, national initiatives being instituted at health departments across the country. These initiatives will serve as pathways for the nation's health departments as they work with communities to improve the health and well-being of their citizens.
Dr. Bender has served on three Institute of Medicine study committees related to public health. She serves on the National Board of Public Health Examiners and is an active member of the American Public Health Association. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Nursing. She is co-chair of the Population Health Framework Committee for the National Quality Forum. She serves as adjunct faculty for several schools and programs in public health and nursing across the country. Most recently she was inducted into the Beta Chi Chapter, Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Bender is the author or coauthor of numerous publications related to governmental public health systems improvement and has received a number of nursing and public health awards, including the Felix J. Underwood Award from the Mississippi Public Health Association, the Arnstein Public Health Nursing Award of Excellence from the American Public Health Association, the National Excellence in Public Health Award from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the Executive Director's Citation from the American Public Health Association. She is also a Mississippi Nurses Hall of Fame inductee.
Dr. Bender received her BSN from the University of Mississippi School of Nursing, her MSN from the University of Southern Mississippi and her Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences.
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