Nursing professor receives lifetime achievement award

August 6, 2009

image of Mona Counts

Dr. Mona Counts, Elouise Ross Eberly Professor in the School of Nursing, was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Retail Clinician, Drug Store News, and the Convenient Care Association. The award honors nurse practitioners “who go above and beyond the call of duty to achieve excellence in patient care” over a lifetime.

Counts, only the second person to receive this honor, received her award at the Retail Clinician Education Congress, held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Orlando, Florida, August 3-5. Counts was also the keynote speaker at the conference; her presentation dealt with the future of nurse practitioners.

“I was surprised and very honored to be asked to receive this award,” said Counts. “The lifetime achievement award recipient last year was Loretta Ford, who is known to many as the founder and initiator of the nurse practitioner movement. It means a lot of be given the same honor she received.”

“Dr. Counts was chosen for her inspiring and pioneering leadership in providing accessible, affordable, quality care to thousands of people throughout her career,” said Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of Convenient Care Association.

Counts’ research involves identifying patterns of health-seeking behavior in rural populations. One of her most recent projects, the creation of a mobile health clinic, provided medical care to hundreds of individuals from Greene County, Pennsylvania, who faced obstacles when it came to receiving health care at local facilities. She was also involved in a study that examined people’s reactions to health care concerns (whether those reactions are to call a physician, call a family member or friend, or ignore the concern). The results of that study helped change the care practices at a health care facility in Greene County, to better suit the needs of the population.

Counts is the past president of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and chair-elect of the Fellows of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is also clinical director of the Primary Care Center of Mt. Morris in Greene County. She has served on numerous committees, including the National Advisory Council on Influenza, the National Advisory Board for Changing Diabetes, and the National Advisory Board for Sleep Disorders. She has received many honors in the past, including the Rural Heath Hero Award by Pennsylvania Rural Health, the Red Cross Volunteer of the Year award, and she was named an Everyday Hero by Reader’s Digest in 2004 (Everyday Heroes is a monthly feature that profiles “ordinary citizens who perform extraordinary acts at great personal risk or sacrifice”).

Counts received her B.S. in nursing and chemistry from the University of Florida in 1963, her M.S. in nursing from Emory University in 1970, and her Ph.D. in higher education and pathophysiology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975. She has been a member of the Penn State School of Nursing faculty since 1999.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.