The Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) is honoring Kristine Gebbie, Elizabeth Standish Gill Associate Professor on Nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing. On November 18, 2003 at the APHA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, Dr. Gebbie will receive the 2003 Ruth B. Freeman Award recognizing her distinguished career in the field of public health. In the course of a 30-year career, Dr. Gebbie has been a major force in public health and public health nursing, making many noteworthy contributions in policy, service and education. Following completion of her master's degree in community mental health nursing, Dr. Gebbie provided mental health consultation in the visiting nurse and public health agencies of Los Angeles County while teaching mental health consultation at UCLA School of Nursing and beginning research on public health systems. She continued this focus on integrating public health and mental health later at St. Louis University. Kristine Gebbie has made, and continues to make, unique contributions to public health policy at the national level. She was the first nurse appointed a state health director in Oregon, next became Secretary of Health in Washington State, and was appointed the first National AIDS Policy Coordinator, thus becoming one of the few nurses with White House policy responsibilities. Dr. Gebbie is further known for leadership in defining public health infrastructure and providing clarification on the interdisciplinary nature of public health practice, including strong attention to the role and contribution of public health nurses. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, one of only a handful of nurse members.
In addition, Dr. Gebbie currently serves on two editorial boards, is a consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Institute Leadership Project, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is a much sought after speaker regarding health policy, public health workforce issues, and national emergency preparedness.
Dr. Gebbie is distinctive among health policy experts in that she successfully combines her administrative and policy roles with an academic approach that includes publishing in highly respected, peer-reviewed scholarly journals and educating the next generation of public health nurses.
Throughout her career Dr. Gebbie has taught and been affiliated with various universities. In both Oregon and Washington, even while serving in high administrative positions, she maintained ongoing relationships with schools of nursing, and regularly lectured graduate and undergraduate students. At Columbia, Dr. Gebbie is the lead faculty member for the School of Nursing health policy curriculum.