By Frank Couch
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing Assistant Professor Yolanda Wheeler, PhD, CRNP, CRNP-AC, MSCN, has been awarded the EMD Serono Nightingale Award by the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses (IOMSN). Harris was one of 10 nurses nationally recognized in 2020 during the celebration of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
This award, presented by IOMSN and supported by biopharmaceutical business EMD Serano, provides recipients with funding to support programs such as brain health programs for newly-diagnosed MS patients and their care partners, patient support groups and others.
“The IOMSN is proud to collaborate with EMD Serono on this important honor, which shines light on the profound role that nursing professionals play in the lives of those affected by MS,” said June Halper, Chief Executive Officer, IOMSN.
Weeler’s practice initiatives focus on providing care for children and families that are affected by demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system in the UAB Center for Pediatric Onset Demyelinating Disease. Drawing on her prior Maternal Child Health (MCH) training in adolescent medicine, 20 years of experience at Children’s of Alabama in the Special Care Unit, her 14 years as a nurse practitioner have focused on providing holistic care to patients and their families from across the southeastern states. She is an integral part of an interdisciplinary team of experts at the center.
Wheeler was excited to receive this award and even more excited to see that one of her pediatric research nurse colleges received an award as well.
“Pediatric MS is rare and only effects 2-5 percent of the nearly 1 million estimated people living with MS in the U.S.,” Wheeler said. “After nearly a decade and a half, it is great to see nursing-led programs and research that will highlight the impact that pediatric nurses have on the lives of children, teens and their families. Our work continues to bring awareness to the small yet important population of children and families that it effects."
Wheeler earned her MSN from the School in 2006 and her PhD in 2018.