Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, FAAN received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her Masters in Nursing from the Univer­sity of Washington, Seattle. She received her Doctor of Philos­ophy, Nursing Science with Execu­tive Focus from Case Western Reserve Univer­sity in Cleve­land, Ohio, and was a Scholar at the Centers for Disease Control and Preven­tion Public Health Leader­ship Insti­tute. She is currently the Chair and Professor of the Depart­ment of Psychoso­cial and Commu­nity Health in the School of Nursing at the Univer­sity of Washington.

Bobbie joined WSNA shortly after gradu­ating nursing school and has been a member ever since. She has served on the WSNA Research Council and the Council on Nursing Admin­is­tra­tion. She holds ANA certi­fi­ca­tion in Nursing Admin­is­tra­tion and is a member of the American Academy of Nursing. She was also a member of the ANA Commu­nity Based Quality Indicator Advisory Committee

Bobbie is the quintes­sen­tial public health nurse leader. She has made signif­i­cant and long-lasting contri­bu­tions to both nursing and the public health system. Her career has included direct public health practice, director of public health nursing at the local level, deputy secre­tary for the State Depart­ment of Health, faculty at St Martins College and the Univer­sity of Washington School of Nursing, as well as leader­ship work at the national level through the ANA, American Public Health Associ­a­tion, Centers for Disease Control and Preven­tion, Robert Wood Johnson and the Insti­tute of Medicine. Few nurse leaders see the fruits of their efforts turn into national health policy. Bobbie’s work in public health and the Public Health Improve­ment Plan has done just that. She is recog­nized nation­ally as a nursing leader and public health guru.

Bobbie’s career achieve­ments have set the course for public health in Washington state. Accom­plish­ments include building the public health system, both at the local level through her work as nursing director at both Whatcom County and Seattle-King County, as well as at the state level through her work at the Depart­ment of Health, and now at the Univer­sity of Washington School of Nursing. Her efforts have touched the lives of every resident of the State of Washington. Bobbie has served as a mentor and advisor to many students and nurses inter­ested in public health. She skill­fully combines nursing theory, public policy models, and leader­ship case studies to lead students to a new level of thinking. Leader­ship and public policy continue to be keen inter­ests of Bobbie.

Bobbie was selected by then Governor Booth Gardner to sit on the Health Services Commis­sion in 1990. She chaired the Health Services Committee. This work was ground­breaking and heralded the health reform efforts in Washington. Even though the large effort did not last, the public health work and discus­sions led to the estab­lish­ment of the Public Health Improve­ment Plan. This plan gives the state a frame­work for devel­op­ment of the public health system. Bobbie’s leader­ship was crucial both to have public health take its essen­tial place within the Plan for the protec­tion of the public, but she also brought the nursing perspec­tive to many for debate.

In her work with Turning Point, Bobbie leaves a legacy throughout the country. Over the past eight years she has provided consul­ta­tion, technical assis­tance, and visionary leader­ship to public health leaders in North Carolina, California, Kansas, Alaska, New York, Nebraska, Arizona, Georgia, and also in Canada.

Bobbie has received many honors throughout her career. Among them are the Washington State Public Health Associ­a­tion Gavel Award, Annual Award, Creative Achieve­ment Award in Nursing, and the Honorary Life Member­ship. She has received the Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion Marguerite Cobb Public/​Community Health Nurse Award, the Univer­sity of Washington School of Nursing Distin­guished Alumni Award and the 19 th Eliza­beth Sterling Soule Lecture­ship. And, in 2001 she was elected to the presti­gious, National Insti­tute of Medicine.

A sign of a great leader is one who can also trans­late a vision into reality. Bobbie has done this and more for both public health and public health nursing. Bobbie is still in the midst of her career. We will continue to see great things come from her work in health policy, public health infra­struc­ture devel­op­ment, and leader­ship theory. She is able to bridge theory into action. We are fortu­nate to have Bobbie in Washington State, dedicated to nursing – public health – and WSNA!