Markaki leads international nursing network

PANMCC group photo

By Pareasa Rahimi

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Professor, Director of Global Partnerships and Co-Director of PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for International Nursing Ada Markaki, PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC, FAAN, has started her term as Chair of the Pan American Nursing and Midwifery Collaborating Centers, a network of 16 World Health Organization Collaborating Centers within the Americas.

PANMCC connects and supports WHOCCs in the Americas and Caribbean region in advancing universal health access and coverage, as well as fostering cooperation on a regional and global scale. The network provides a platform for sustainable collaboration, which in turn promotes the contributions and visibility of nursing and midwifery education, research and practice.

“PANMCC reflects the diversity of nurses and midwives in the Latin American and Caribbean region,” Markaki said. “It serves as a resource in developing knowledge, building capacity, strengthening health systems and influencing policy that furthers WHO’s goal of ‘Health For All.’”

Markaki will serve as Chair through December 2024 and is the first from UAB to hold a leadership position within the network. Prior to appointment, Markaki served on PANMCC for six years. She brings a unique health systems advocacy perspective for the nursing workforce and underserved populations. During her tenure, the Executive Board successfully petitioned for the appointment of a new Chief Nursing Officer at the WHO headquarters.

“Securing a commitment that the new CNO is firmly embedded in the WHO hierarchy of senior staff ensures that nurses and midwives around the world will continue to have a voice where decisions are made,” Markaki said.

To strengthen collaboration, the network also has launched a new website. The platform is publicly accessible in several languages and serves as a repository of past and present activities, as well as deliverables across all WHOCCs.

Markaki’s leadership carries over to UABSON, where she has been Co-Director of the School’s PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for International Nursing since 2016. It is one of nine designated centers in the United States established to help overcome health disparities in the Americas. In this role, she leads efforts to provide technical support for PAHO, exemplifying scholarship of integration, teaching and application. This work entails developing educational programs, distance-accessible courses, quality improvement guidelines and toolkits to expand education for nurses and midwives in low resource settings. Envisioning the WHOCC as an evidence-based scholarly practice, Markaki has launched the Global Health Scholarship Collaborative to engage faculty, students and staff with the center’s international work.

Additionally, the UABSON WHOCC is a member of the executive committee of the Global Network of WHOCCs in Nursing and Midwifery, with Markaki representing the Americas. Markaki’s leadership positions enhance the School’s international visibility and recognition as a top nursing school around the world. Consequently, the School has expanded global partnerships that open opportunities to recruit a diverse pool of students and faculty, exchange information and mobilize additional resources.

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