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Kent State Nursing Faculty Members Awarded for Commitment to Patient Safety (04/29/2009)

Three Kent State University College of Nursing faculty members have been awarded for their collaborative research and commitment to occupational health and safety. Carol Sedlak, Barbara Yoost and former faculty member Nancy Panthofer, received the 2008 National Occupational Research Agenda Partnering Award (NORA) for Worker Health and Safety. The award honors groups who have demonstrated commendable teamwork, innovative thinking and well-built science in their collaborative partnerships on occupational health and safety research.

Sedlak, College of Nursing professor, says the process began with her involvement with the American Nurses Association (ANA).

“I served as one of the co-investigators on the research evaluation project titled, ‘Effectiveness of an Evidence Based Curriculum Module in Nursing Schools Targeting Safe Patient Handling and Movement,’” Sedlak says. “This project was funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The ANA partnered with NIOSH and the Tampa Veterans Administration Patient Safety Center.”

Yoost, College of Nursing honors program coordinator, says the group has been working toward this award for many years.

“After research conducted by a group of national leaders, including Dr. Sedlak, a small group of hand-selected faculty from across the nation developed the Safe Patient Handling and Movement student curriculum and implemented the pilot project,” Yoost says.  “The data from that project was compiled and analyzed leading to a landmark change in the way nursing curriculums teach body mechanics, patient transfers and positioning.”

Yoost says it is an honor to be recognized as part of a group that has worked so diligently on this project.

“For me personally, this honor affirms my commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others each day. It means that I am somehow using the gifts that I've been given to impact the quality of life of both patients and nurses,” Yoost says. “This honor also acknowledges the significant national and international work of Kent State University College of Nursing faculty like Dr. Carol Sedlak and myself, which is both humbling and exciting.”

According to Sedlak, the honor will impact the College of Nursing and the way students think about health care safety.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in nursing education and changing nursing curriculum in how beginning nursing students are educated in the promotion of safety,” Sedlak says. “This includes not only lifting and moving patients but also in students’ promoting safety for themselves as health care professionals. As an orthopedic certified nurse, it is extremely gratifying to see that nurses can make a difference not only in educating nursing students for promoting safe patient care, but also in promoting the safety of the health care worker.”

For more information about the NORA Awards or occupational safety and health, visit


Media Contacts:

Kathy Donchess,, 330-672-8747

Kevin Brosien,, 330-672-8589


This page was last modified on September 8, 2009