Press Release for Thursday, October 25, 2007

UNF Professors Win National Women's Health Research Awards

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

Mission Pharmacal congratulated two University of North Florida School of Nursing faculty members in the Brooks College of Health with the 2008 National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health Women’s Health Research Awards. These awards are given to nurse practitioners conducting outstanding research in women’s health.

Intracoastal resident Dr. Kathaleen Bloom, a UNF nursing professor, and Orange Park resident Michele Bednarzyk, a UNF nursing instructor, were recently presented the award at the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health 10th annual conference in Pennsylvania. They received $500 in recognition of their important work in women’s health research.

“We are very proud to honor these distinguished nurse practitioners for their contributions to the field of women’s health research,” said Douglas Leonard, product manager, Perinatal Products for Mission Pharmacal. “Nurse practitioners play an integral role in the health care system. In addition to delivering high quality medical care to their patients, they are well-trained in preventive care and patient education.”

Bloom and Bednarzyk authored the winning abstract entry titled “Obstetric Screening Practices of Advanced Nurses: Results of a Pilot Study,” which summarized their examination of the routine obstetrical screening practices of nurse practitioners and certified nurse-midwives involved in prenatal care and evaluated the consistency of these practices with current guidelines.

Bloom has served in the nursing field for more than 40 years, holding positions as staff nurse, nurse-midwife and childbirth educator in a variety of medical facilities. She has given national and international presentations on numerous topics, such as improving pregnancy outcomes among low income women and group-oriented prenatal care for adolescents.

In addition to her contributions to the clinical and research fields, Bloom has also taught in the university setting for 30 years. She is actively involved in service at UNF and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the University of North Florida’s Outstanding Faculty Service Award, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and the Teaching Recognition Award, as well as the Florida Nurses Association’s Great 100 Nurses Award.

Not only is Bednarzyk a UNF nursing instructor but she also currently serves as a nurse practitioner at Volunteers in Medicine in Jacksonville. She has worked in the nursing field for 27 years in both the clinical and research settings, and has taught at UNF’s School of Nursing since 1998. Bednarzyk is actively involved in university life, serving on the College of Health Executive Committee in the Brooks College of Health and on the Graduate Faculty Committee and the Search Committee in the School of Nursing.

She has presented her research at many professional gatherings, including the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties Conference, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Conference and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health Annual Conference.

The School of Nursing program with an emphasis on community health was chosen as UNF’s first flagship program, which is a challenge to raise the bar and become one of the best programs in the nation. In 2007, the College initiated two new doctoral programs, the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Doctor of Physical Therapy.

UNF’s Brooks College of Health offers a full complement of degree programs and specialized certifications in community and public health, rehabilitation counseling, nutrition, health administration, nursing and nurse anesthesia, exercise physiology, athletic training and physical therapy.

Mission Pharmacal is a privately-held pharmaceutical company based in San Antonio, Texas. For more than 60 years, the company has been dedicated to identifying unmet health needs in the marketplace and developing innovative prescription and over-the-counter products to meet them. Currently, Mission Pharmacal provides physicians and consumers with pharmaceutical, nutritional and diagnostic products. For more information, please visit