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Faculty Wins Health Volunteer Award

May 14, 2020

Jill DerstineOn April 7, 2020, Drexel associate clinical professor Jill Derstine, EdD, was named a recipient of the 2020 Health Volunteer Overseas (HVO) Golden Apple Award. This distinction recognizes individuals and health educators who make exceptional contributions to improve global health. The award was established in 2006, and each year, a small number of recipients are selected. Individuals are nominated by HVO members, volunteers or leadership, or by overseas partners to recognize the impact they have had as teachers, advisers, mentors and leaders.

“I feel so fortunate to have been afforded the opportunities to participate globally with Health Volunteers Overseas,” said Derstine. “My passion for nurses in underdeveloped countries began with that first trip to Vietnam and continues today. During my time as a volunteer, I have seen many nurses grow and change, which is so important in these uncertain times. Caring for patients is a team effort, and I want to make sure to acknowledge and thank my colleagues and all of the international nurses with whom I have worked.”

Having joined HVO in the mid-1990s, Derstine has been actively involved in their nursing education program for more than two decades. Serving as project director for three of her 19 overseas assignments, Derstine has provided meaningful and consistent leadership during her time volunteering with HVO. During her tenure, she participated in a 14-year project funded by USAID, which established rehabilitation nursing and strengthened BSN nursing in the country, Cambodia, Ukraine and India. She is presently engaged in a project with Eternal University School of Nursing in Baru Sahib, India and has initiated a memorandum of understanding between Drexel and Eternal University.

Derstine has been active in nursing education and rehabilitation nursing for over 40 years. From 2002 through 2007 she served on the Board of Commissioners of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and served as chair of the board for the last two years of her term. She also chaired the Report Review Committee, a subcommittee of the board, for four years.

Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve global health through education of the local health workforce in resource-scarce countries. HVO fosters partnerships between institutions, local providers, volunteers and sponsor organizations to address the global health workforce shortage.