(Aug. 15, 2011) – Martina R. Gallagher, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor in the Nursing Systems department, has received the “2011 NURSE.com Nursing Excellence Award” in the Teaching category. She and winners in five other categories (Advancing and Leading the Profession, Clinical Care, Community Service, Management and Mentoring) were honored at an awards event for the South Central region on Aug. 12, at the Norris CityCentre Conference Center in Houston.

Gallagher was a nominee in both the Teaching and Mentoring categories, with six nominations from colleagues and students for her devotion, energy, knowledge, skill, encouragement and positive effect on others.

Nominators described her as “genuine, available, inspirational, unique, intelligent and compassionate” and lauded Gallagher for advising them on academic and personal matters, as well as “exemplifying her love of education, students and the profession.”

Comments included this one: “She serves each community of learners as if it were her own, and she is particularly invested in the Latino community, of which she is a member. Her advocacy extends into academia and nursing organizational work as well.”

Another said: “She truly cares about those she works with, bringing out potential in them that they didn’t see in themselves.”  And: “Widely published, Martina is … more than a teacher, nurse or researcher, but someone who genuinely cares about students and dedicates herself to helping them go above and beyond, and truly achieve.”

Gallagher's research is on the prevention and treatment of obesity in Latino families, with current projects focusing on the incorporation of sleep hygiene into weight loss/management interventions in community settings. Her funded studies have focused on the maternal influence on lifestyle factors that place preschool children at risk for obesity.

She earned her B.S.N., M.S.N. and Ph.D. with an emphasis on health promotion of Hispanic families from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  Before joining the faculty of the UTHealth School of Nursing in Sept. 2009, she completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School of Nursing in Seattle.

Each of the six regional winners now will move on to the national program. Six national winners (one in each category) from among 54 regional winners will be named in October. In November, the six will be featured in NURSE.com magazines and will have a reception hosted for each of them where she or he works.

For more than a decade, Nurse.com’s Nursing Excellence Awards program has recognized the extraordinary contributions Texas nurses make to their patients, each other and the profession. The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future is the national sponsor of the 2011 Nurse.com’s Nursing Excellence Awards.