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Visiting Professor Oulton Brings Valuable Insight into Global Health

By Robin Hindery

The UCSF School of Nursing recently welcomed a visiting professor whose efforts to advance the field of nursing and influence health policy have earned her international recognition, and who will bring a valuable global perspective to the UCSF community.

Judith A. Oulton

Judith A. Oulton, RN, MEd, is the University’s UC Presidential Chair for 2008-2009 and will remain on campus through June in the Department of Community Health Systems. She recently retired as CEO of the Geneva-based International Council of Nurses (ICN), a federation of national nurses associations representing millions of nurses in more than 130 countries. The ICN works to maintain a strong international community of nurses and to promote sound health policies around the world, and it collaborates closely with the United Nations and other nongovernmental organizations. Oulton’s experiences at the ICN – as well as her previous clinical, teaching and administrative positions in her native Canada – have given her valuable insight into issues such as health care, the nursing workforce shortage, development of community health workers and professional development, said William Holzemer, RN, PhD, professor and associate dean of international programs in the School of Nursing. “We are extremely pleased to have her with us for three months to share her experience as a global voice of patient care and nurses in this complex world,” Holzemer said. Oulton, who arrived on campus in mid-March, said she has been impressed by the wide range of international involvement and expertise among the current faculty. In addition, she said, the inclusiveness of the UCSF community “is real and works. I see it within and between departments – the recognition that consultation and collaboration, not competition, make for better initiatives and outcomes,” she said. During her time at UCSF, Oulton said she hopes not only to learn from the examples the University has set in patient care, teaching and other areas, but also to share her own knowledge, expertise and contacts with UCSF students and faculty in ways that foster research, policymaking, leadership and capacity building. The Presidential Chair program was established in 1981 to encourage new or interdisciplinary program development or to enhance existing academic programs. It is funded by endowments approved for each campus by the UC Board of Regents. UCSF’s portion of the endowment is currently valued at approximately $1.8 million, according to the UC Office of the President. The payout from that principal sum is made available to the chair holder in support of teaching, research and public service. Each campus is limited to one Presidential Chair at a time. Oulton is the second chair sponsored by the School of Nursing. In 2007-2008, Jaime Sepulveda, MD, MPH, DrSc, also served as a visiting professor in the Department of Community Health Systems. Before joining the ICN in 1996, Oulton served for seven years as the executive director of the Canadian Nurses Association and the Canadian Nurses Protective Society. During that time, she was also chair of the Health Action Lobby, a coalition of Canadian health and consumer organizations. Oulton previously worked as a health department administrator for the province of New Brunswick, Canada, where she also taught at the local university. Oulton will be sharing her thoughts on the global shortage of nurses and physicians at a talk at UCSF on April 28 from 12-1 p.m. The event, "Physician and Nursing Workforce Crisis: The Global Response," is open to students, faculty and staff, and will take place in Toland Hall, 533 Parnassus Ave.

Related Links:

UCSF School of Nursing

International Council of Nurses (ICN)