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Pamela Mitchell receives highest award for nursing from American Heart Association


Date: November 8, 2012
Media Contact: Ashley Wiggin,, 206-221-2456

School of Nursing Professor and Interim Dean Pamela Mitchell, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been selected for the highest award of the American Heart Association (AHA) Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing. Mitchell is the first nurse scientist working with stroke survivors to receive this award.

The Katharine A. Lembright Award was presented to Mitchell during the AHA Scientific Sessions on November 6, 2012.  As the award recipient, Mitchell gave a lecture at the conference titled “Broken Hearts, Broken Brains and the Blues.”  In this lecture, she explored current theories about why depression might be so much more prevalent in acute and chronic cardiac disease and stroke, how genes might interact, and what practitioners can do to improve the quality of life for their patients with these challenges.  This was based on the current and past work of the interdisciplinary research she and others have led.

“I am truly honored to receive this lifetime achievement award, particularly as the first nurse scientist working with stroke survivors,” said Mitchell. “It is a particular honor to join other UW alumni - Dr. Marie Cowan and Dr. Susan Woods, among other distinguished recipients.” 

The Lembright award recognizes and encourages excellence in cardiovascular research by established nurse scientists.  It honors Katharine A. Lembright, who as the American Heart Association's assistant director for nursing from 1960-81, played an important role in the development and growth of the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing. It is intended to recognize and encourage excellence in research of cardiovascular disease to nurse scientists.

Mitchell, currently serving as Interim Dean of the UW School of Nursing, has had a long and notable career in clinical and translational research and has been honored with several major awards. Her research is focused on improving care for patients with conditions such as stroke, heart attack, hypertension, and neurological diseases.  She is known throughout the nursing community as the “mother” of current practices in nursing care for patients with increased intracranial pressure, such as those with head injury and stroke.  She is recognized as a leading researcher in managing recovery from brain injury in both acute and community care settings.

The University of Washington School of Nursing is consistently a top-rated nursing school, according to U.S. News & World Report. Ranked No. 2 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2011, the UW School of Nursing is a national and international leader in improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities. The school addresses society’s most pressing challenges in health care through innovative teaching, award winning research and community service. For more information, visit