Global health leader to speak in Voices from the Vanguard Series season finale

March 25, 2013


Patricia Thomas

Patricia Thomas

Professor, Knight Chair In Health And Medical Journalism

Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
Work: 706/542-1210

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Athens, Ga. - Carol Etherington, a nurse who has traveled the country and the world assisting people devastated by war, natural disasters and violence for three decades, will speak about her experiences and her perspective on global health April 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the University of Georgia Chapel.

Etherington, the associate director of Community Health Initiatives and an associate nursing professor at Vanderbilt University, will close out the Voices from the Vanguard speaker series. The lecture is free and open to the public.

As a nurse, Etherington has worked with traumatized populations in urban and rural areas around the world. She first served on an international emergency medical team in the aftermath of the Pol Pot genocide. Since 1996, she has worked with Doctors without Borders in Bosnia, Poland, Honduras, Tajikistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Angola and in the Darfur refugee camps of Chad.

She established one of the first police-based counseling programs in the nation within the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department and has worked throughout the U.S. during times of natural and manmade disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes and school shootings. She also served in New York after Sept. 11.

In the classroom at Vanderbilt, Etherington challenges students and providers from across the disciplines to develop a grounded and realistic perspective on global health, particularly among the world's most underserved and vulnerable populations. She advocates for these populations and strongly promotes the concept that health, mental health, human rights and human dignity are inextricably linked.

Etherington has received the International Red Cross' Florence Nightingale Medal, an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of New Hampshire and Vanderbilt University's Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Award. Vanderbilt also named her Distinguished Alumna of the Year in 2007.

"Nurses play vital roles in health care during war, peace and natural disasters," said Patricia Thomas, a health and medical journalism professor at UGA. "But all too often we focus mainly on physicians and overlook the crucial role of nurses. Students need to know that you don't have to be an M.D. or a Ph.D. in public health to make a difference in global health."

The Voices from the Vanguard Lecture Series is a joint effort of Grady College's Health and Medical Journalism program and the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. For more information on the series, see

UGA Grady College
The Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication was established in 1915 and is one of the oldest and most distinguished communication programs in the country. Its three departments-journalism, advertising and public relations, and telecommunications-are consistently ranked among the best in the nation. The college is home to the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information about the Grady College, see


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