By Jimmy Creed
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing has named Adelais (Ada) Markaki, PHCNS-BC, PhD, the new deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Collaborating Center for International Nursing. She joins the School in mid-August.
Markaki, currently an instructor in primary health care in the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Crete in Heraklion, Greece, will succeed long-time PAHO/WHO Deputy Director Lynda Wilson, PhD, RN, FAAN, who retired in late 2015.
Markaki was well aware of the reputation of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center at UAB, which marked its 20th anniversary in 2014, and sought to join its ranks when she learned of the opening.
“I came across this Center several years ago through the work and publications of Dr. Wilson, Dr. Doreen Harper and other faculty involved in the Center, and I believed it was a place I would very much like to work someday," Markaki said. “The PAHO/WHO Center is a highlight of our School’s global scholarship, attracting international students to the University, and we will certainly work hard to continue this mission in the future.”
“Dr. Markaki brings a broad base of international and global health knowledge and expertise to the UAB School of Nursing and our PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center,” said Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “She has worked to better the health of communities worldwide and understands the goals and initiatives of the WHO, the Collaborating Centers and the partnerships needed to promote health care for all, and will build on the global scholarship on which Dr. Wilson worked tirelessly.”
During her interview, Markaki said she was struck from the beginning by how good the fit was between her, the School and the PAHO/WHO position.
“I was very much impressed by the camaraderie I saw among the faculty,” Markaki said. “There was a sense of cohesiveness throughout the School that was striking. I have visited other schools, and I can tell you the UAB School of Nursing can be very proud of that.
“I could sense throughout my talks with the dean, the faculty and staff that everybody seemed to share the same mission and goals. That is very rare to find in a school, and I knew I would love to be part of that community.”
Markaki said the present activities of the Center, which was re-designated for another four-year term in 2015, will continue, including initiatives in Central and South America. She said the Center will also look into potential initiatives outside of the Americas, including possible collaborations with some European Centers and schools of nursing. The UAB PAHO/WHO Center is one of 10 on the United States and 44 in the world.
Markaki was honored to meet Wilson and spend time with her before Wilson’s retirement last year. She also complimented Wilson on her commitment to the Center and the UAB School of Nursing.
“I was very much impressed by her degree of involvement which went far beyond the typical and the expected,” Markaki said. “She was truly emotionally involved. I know that she continues to be active in many different aspects of this work, and her advice and consultation will be very much appreciated throughout this transition time.”
For Markaki, who studied and worked in both Greece and the United States, it will be the second time she has left her homeland to pursue her love of nursing and international health.
She joked that every 15 years or so she has to make a major career move, and when this opportunity came about, she knew that time had come again.
“It is tough leaving Greece in the sense that there is family here, friends and a lot of good connections,” Markaki said. “But there is a new chapter in my life that is opening, and I am very excited about it and coming to the UAB School of Nursing.”
Markaki named deputy director of PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center
Will join the School in mid-August from the University of Crete, succeed now-retired Dr. Lynda Wilson