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Carter Center Appoints Ethiopia Public Health Training Director

Atlanta.... Joyce P. Murray, Ed.D., R.N., professor of nursing at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing of Emory University, has joined The Carter Center as director of its Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, a teacher training program enabling Ethiopia to meet staffing needs for more than 500 community health centers nationwide.

"Dr. Murray brings a broad portfolio of experience in nursing practice, nursing education, and public health to help Ethiopians meet the challenges posed by an expanding health care system in their country," said John Hardman, M.D., Carter Center executive director. "She has both national and international experience in teaching students how to apply research to the practice and policies of health care and nursing."

Dr. Murray has worked extensively in mental health nursing, curriculum development, leadership, and service. She has been head of the department of nursing at Georgia Southern University, director of accreditation at the National League for Nursing, and associate dean for academic affairs at Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University. Currently, she is president-elect of the National League for Nursing.

Since 1999, Dr. Murray has been involved in the Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, presenting workshops and consulting with faculty from the five health sciences universities in Ethiopia on the development of curricula and teaching materials.

Among her many awards, Dr. Murray is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and received the 2002 Teaching Scholar Award from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory and the Mabel Korsell Award for Service from the Georgia League for Nursing. She earned her doctorate in education from the University of Georgia, her master's degree in nursing from the Medical College of Georgia, and her bachelor's degree in nursing from Armstrong State College. As director of the Carter Center's Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, Dr. Murray succeeds Dennis Carlson, M.D., M.P.H., who served as the Initiative's senior consultant from 1997 to 2002. Dr. Carlson will continue to serve as an adviser to the Initiative.

In the early 1990s, less than half of Ethiopia's population had access to modern health services. The government of Ethiopia responded with the commitment to establish more than 500 new health centers for these under-served rural populations, thereby creating a need for trained health professionals. In 1993, the government invited The Carter Center to help develop new health care worker training programs to fill that gap.

"The expansiveness of the government of Ethiopia project made it difficult for the country to recruit experienced training staff, particularly for the four colleges located in rural areas," said Dr. Murray. "Strengthening the skills of health science faculty who teach and prepare health professionals for rural health centers will have a direct impact on primary health services in Ethiopia."

Senior national and international experts work side by side with Ethiopian teaching staff to train in-country health center teams. Together they have developed learning materials based on Ethiopian experience and directly relevant to Ethiopia's health problems. Learning modules addressing major health problems in Ethiopia have been developed for practical health care fieldwork in HIV/AIDS, malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, trachoma, malnutrition, and other needs. Next steps for the Initiative include addressing the need for mental health education and developing a distance learning program for a master's degree in public health.

Founded in 1982 by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in partnership with Emory University, the not-for-profit Center works to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health. The Carter Center collaborates with other organizations, public or private, in carrying out this mission. In this way, the Center has touched the lives of millions of people in more than 65 countries.

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