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Dr. Rita Munley Gallagher Receives Prestigious Public Health Award

November 4, 2012       1 Comments
By: Dave Rogers

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Dr. Rita Munley Gallagher

Dr. Rita Munley Gallagher, a Bay City native, has been awarded the American Public Health Association Ruth B. Freeman Award at the annual APHA meeting in San Francisco.

This very prestigious award is named for one of the outstanding leaders of Public Health Nursing, Ruth B. Freeman.

"We honor an individual who has had a distinguished career in public health administration, education, policy, practice, and research, as did Dr. Freeman," said Dr. Elizabeth Reifsnider, Nancy Melvin Professor and Associate Dean for Research, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University.

A graduate of Bay City Central High School, Dr. Gallagher earned a master's of science degree in community health nursing and a doctorate in applied sociology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Ruth B. Freeman served as nursing services administrator for the American National Red Cross and was appointed professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1962.

She received the Florence Nightingale medal of the International Red Cross, and wrote authoritative textbooks on public health nursing.

Dr. Gallagher has had a distinguished a career as a Senior Policy Fellow in the National Center for Nursing Quality, representing ANA at National Quality Forum and Healthcare Quality Alliance.

As a Senior Policy Fellow at the American Nurses Association from 1993 to 2010, her portfolio included, among other foci, the Nursing Quality Initiative that predated the seminal IOM report.

Dr. Gallagher's work was instrumental in the development of ANA's Nursing Care Performance Measures Project and the development of the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators.

She remains a consultant and advisor for ANA and has recently been named an at-large member of the Nursing Advisory Council to The Joint Commission. She has also worked for the American Public Health Association, and the PHN Section as Chair, Co-Chair twice, Local Arrangements co-chair, and Development Committee member of the PHN Section. She has also been a member of the APHA Governing Council since 2003.

"Dr. Gallagher remains an inspiration to all members of the PHN Section for what public health nurses can accomplish when we focus on the health of the population," said Dr. Reifsnyder.


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DrRitaMunleyGallagher Says:       On November 01, 2012 at 04:16 PM
What a nice surprise. I appreciate the comments and would note that I could not have done many (if any) of those things without Gus' support.
Agree? or Disagree?

Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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