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bray surrounded by with colleagues
Michele Bray (center) with friends and colleagues at the HAH Awards and Scholarship Gala.

Assistant Professor Michele Lani Bray of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing (NAWSON) was honored for her exceptional contributions to public health by the Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH). Bray received the Public Health Award at the HAH Awards and Scholarship Gala on October 21, at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center in front of an audience of nursing leaders, healthcare colleagues and student scholarship recipients.

“The world is evolving, and our healthcare system must evolve with it,” said Bray, a Native Hawaiian scholar and a dedicated registered nurse with more than 30 years of experience as a pediatric and community health nurse.

Michele Bray headshot
Michelle Bray

As a nurse educator at NAWSON for more than 10 years, Bray has continued to advance public health in Hawaiʻi with her unwavering commitment. She is the director of the Online RN to BS program that provides registered nurses with the opportunity to attain a bachelor’s degree and further their professional growth. She also teaches in the Masters of Science Online Advanced Population Health Nursing program where she shares her expertise and passion for public health to a new generation of nurse leaders.

Leading public health initiatives

Bray was a public health nurse for 10 years with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health. She spearheaded transformative initiatives including the School Health Asthma programs and was selected to be the H1N1 Liaison for the state—roles that demonstrated her commitment to improving the health of Hawaiʻi’s youth and her exceptional foresight in preparing for public health crises.

During the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped spearhead essential pandemic response efforts, including training hundreds of contact tracers and orchestrating the deployment of nursing students as vaccinators.

Bray, a proud UH Mānoa alumna, has been exceptionally committed to raising awareness among nurses regarding the growing importance of attaining knowledge and skills in public/population health to address major societal trends impacting health.

“Preparing nurses to work collaboratively with professionals and community members on initiatives that contribute to public health will help all of us in Hawaiʻi tackle the complex challenges of our time, such as climate change adaptation and disaster readiness,” she said. “Nurses and all health professionals really need to align our efforts to contribute to safeguarding the health and well-being of our communities, and the sustainability of our ʻāina.”

For more go to the NAWSON website.

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