Haskins receives national recognition

February 4, 2018



Managing Editor | mrb056@ latech.edu


Louisiana Tech associate professor, Tara Haskins, was one of 17 professionals that were selected nationwide by the National Rural Health Association for its 2018 Rural Health Fellows program.


“The RHF program is a year-long, intensive program that will develop leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America,” said Gary Kennedy, dean of the College of Applied and Natural Sciences. “This award recognized the fact that Dr. Haskins goes above and beyond her normal nursing education duties here at Tech to reach out to underserved rural areas, such as the Bienville Parish school system nurses to help them enhance their program. Rural areas, such as ours, are often very under served with respect to health care.”


Haskins, a professor in Tech’s division of nursing since 2011, said she is honored to be chosen by the NRHA as it is an important association nationwide.


“NRHA is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and well-being of rural Americans,” she said. “It provides leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research. NRHA’s membership is made up of more than 21,000 diverse individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.”


Haskins said she is looking forward to this year and being involved with the RHF program.


“The fellowship begins Feb. 5 at the National Rural Health Association Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., with a week’s-worth of orientation, meetings and advocacy training,” she said. “Throughout the year, we will work with mentors — electronically and through conference calls — to work on projects, leadership instruction and to get legislative updates.”


Haskins said she is excited to see how the fellowship impacts her students’ work as well as hers.


“I hope that my experiences will bring another dimension and insight to my students in clinical and classroom,” she said. “Also, I hope to model for my students that in addition to direct patient, professional nursing is also about effecting change at all levels — local, regional, state and national — and being a voice and advocate for those that can’t speak for themselves.”


Donna Hood, director of the Division of Nursing, said she believes Haskins holds several important characteristics that earned her the spot in the RHF program.


“Dr. Haskins is creative, energetic and has a passion for innovation to address the needs of people, particularly those in rural areas,” she said. “There is a critical need to develop leaders in nursing who can impact change that makes a positive difference in the health of communities across this country.”


Hood said being a part of this program is not just an honor for Haskins, but for the division of nursing as a whole.


“The connections that Dr. Haskins will make through this program will impact our nursing graduates at Louisiana Tech University as well as Dr. Haskins’ service and future research opportunities,” she said. “This program will provide an amazing opportunity for Dr. Haskins and will also impact our faculty and students. As nursing takes tremendous leaps into the community, it is important for our graduates to have exposure to innovative thinking and a vision for opportunities to make a difference.”


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