Native Hawaiian nursing educator honored for public health leadership


michele bray
Michele Lani Bray

A University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa nursing faculty member and alumna is the 2022 recipient of the Public Health Nurse Creative Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association (APHA). Assistant Professor Michele Lani Brayprogram director of the Online RN to BS in nursing program at the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing (NAWSON), was honored for her exceptional and creative contributions to public health nursing administration, education, practice or research at the APHA annual meeting in November.

Bray was recognized for her unwavering efforts organizing COVID-19 response activities. Her creativity, extensive knowledge of community, disaster and public health nursing, and vast professional network with community/public health workers in the state were a major asset during UH Mānoa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She provided leadership for multiple initiatives, including the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health Point of Distribution mass vaccination operations.

Additional notable projects during the pandemic were assisting in the development of training modules for contact tracers as well as the just-in-time training modules for healthcare workers. These modules were utilized by all nursing schools in the state as programs struggled to prepare students to safely manage care during the unfolding early days of the pandemic.

Passion for Native Hawaiian health

Bray is a Native Hawaiian scholar and registered nurse with more than 30 years of experience in pediatrics, community and public health and disaster management. She is passionate about working with the Native Hawaiian community to improve their quality of life and population health concerns by addressing the determinants of health of individuals, families and the broader community.

Bray said, “A sincere mahalo piha to the wonderful colleagues and experts that I have been fortunate to collaborate with over the years while at public health nursing and UH Simple. The story that continues to guide me while working on new initiatives has been with me through the years. During the pandemic, the cliff became very steep, however, through the many hands involved assisting our state we overcame the challenges.”

A bamboo Pu me To lift would be It’s Ho a oh day E Pi i

No cliff is so tall it cannot be climbed.

For more, go to the NAWSON website.



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