Presented to an individual to recognize excellence in nursing education.
Christina Nyirati, is professor and director of Nursing at Heritage University in Toppenish in the Yakima Valley, located on the Yakama Nation Reservation. She founded the BSN program at Heritage, an innovative program whose mission is “to advance the health of multicultural families and communities in rural environments through excellence in nursing education, service, practice and community-based research.”
Heritage University has graduated wonderful motivated nursing students, whom have often been turned down by nursing schools.
She has shaped the nursing program’s emphasis on cultural inclusivity with particular sensitivity to the Native communities from which it draws many of its students.
Dr. Nyirati came to Heritage with a long history of teaching in advanced practice programs as a family nurse practitioner; she draws on that background to provide a clear focus on population health, including rural health.
When Astria Toppenish recently closed its Family Maternity Center, Dr. Nyirati added her voice to those of other community members to speak out against the closure, focusing on the loss of this vital service, known widely for its culturally relevant care, particularly in caring for Native and Latina patients.
2021 award recipient: Tatiana Sadak, PhD, PMHNP, RN, FAAN, FGSA, Associate Professor of Geriatric Mental Health, Director of Graduate Education, and Director of the Dementia Palliative Education Network, University of Washington School of Nursing.