UT Health Science Center San Antonio nurse receives national diversity award

SAN ANTONIO (May 24, 2011) — Linda Porter-Wenzlaff, Ph.D., RN, has received a national award for her work in promoting diversity within the nursing workforce. The Prism Award is sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and was presented by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) at its annual meeting recently in San Diego.

Dr. Porter Wenzlaff is an associate professor/clinical and Distinguished Teaching Professor in the School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
“Over the past two and a half years, Dr. Porter-Wenzlaff has done a marvelous job leading the School of Nursing through deliberate, multifaceted activities to establish an environment of enhanced cultural competency,” said Carol Reineck, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, CENP, NEA-BC, who nominated Dr. Porter-Wenzlaff for the award. Dr. Reineck is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Health Restoration & Care Systems Management.

“Through Dr. Porter-Wenzlaff’s outstanding work, hundreds of nursing students and more than 100 faculty members have developed greater cultural awareness,” Dr. Reineck said, which will carry over into the nursing workforce.

Dr. Porter-Wenzlaff established and chaired an ad hoc committee on Diversity and Intercultural Issues that collaborated with a nationally recognized consultant over two years, with the support of School of Nursing Dean Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN. Through the committee, Dr. Porter-Wenzlaff helped develop workshops for faculty and staff and encouraged them to participate in an extensive cultural continuing education program offered through the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Minority Health.

She worked with the undergraduate faculty to incorporate diversity into the curriculum and promoted student focus groups to identify areas for further cultural education. She also helped establish a process for developing culturally competent policies and procedures. Working with faculty member Adelita Cantu, Ph.D., M.S., RN, she brought an online multicultural calendar to the Health Science Center community, and with M. Danet Lapiz Bluhm, Ph.D., RN, she initiated the International Nursing Student Association, which celebrates diversity and supports activities that increase understanding, inclusion and success.

Dr. Porter-Wenzlaff has more than 36 years’ experience in the nursing profession, working as a pediatric clinical nurse specialist, administrator and teacher. “As a member of the AONE National Diversity Council I am aware of many outstanding diversity efforts and programs across the country. It is indeed a significant honor that our work was recognized by the AONE Board of Directors,” Dr. Porter-Wenzlaff said. “These changes in our School of Nursing were a collaborative effort, as is the case with any successful movement toward greater understanding, inclusion and equity. This speaks to Dean Breslin’s support and the common vision and hard work of a core group of dedicated faculty.”

Dr. Porter-Wenzlaff’s expertise includes family-centered care, nursing administration, teaching, diversity and animal-assisted therapy in health care. She is a licensed professional counselor, a nationally certified nurse educator, UT Health Science Center Master Teacher and UT System Distinguished Teaching Professor. She holds an advanced nurse executive certificate, is a certified executive in nursing practice and a Six Sigma Black Belt, an applied business management certification, an applied business management certification.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $228 million in fiscal year 2010. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $744 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.



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