HHC-Wilson provider Barbara Shaw received the State Award of Excellence for the state of Illinois from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the last week in June.
The Association is a national group of 248,000 licensed Nurse Practitioners in the U.S. Nurse practitioners assess patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, and initiate and manage treatment plans, including prescribing medications.
Shaw received the honor in recognition of her work with immigrants and refugees. “I have always been interested in working with immigrants from a social justice perspective, and because many of my relatives were immigrants themselves,” she says.
Shaw studied medical anthropology at the University of Chicago, but rather than become an academic anthropologist, she decided to learn skills that would allow her to provide health care incorporating a deeper understanding of the influence of culture on health.
After completing a Family Nurse Practitioner degree at Yale University, she worked at several FQHCs in Boston before moving to Chicago and eventually starting with Heartland Health Centers. Shaw has cared for individuals and families from all over the world.
In addition to her clinical work for Heartland Health Centers, Shaw is an assistant professor in the Department of Community, Systems and Mental Health Nursing, College of Nursing at Rush University, where she studies and teaches about health care utilization by immigrants and barriers faced by immigrants in receiving health care.