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Release: Dec. 3, 2002

UI clinical nursing specialist honored for work in obstetric care

The Parent, Child and Family area of study in the University of Iowa College of Nursing recognized Kathryn Papke, a clinical nursing specialist at UI Hospitals and Clinics, for her significant contributions to the nursing profession at an awards ceremony in her honor Dec. 2.

Papke, who has worked in the Iowa Statewide Perinatal Care Program in the pediatrics department since 1984, is known by colleagues for her knowledge and competence in supporting women during labor. In her role with the program, Papke travels to all hospitals in Iowa where babies are delivered and helps staff in those facilities maintain high standards of care for patients and families. These efforts have contributed to reducing Iowa's infant and maternal mortality rates through the education of hundreds of labor-delivery nurses.

"She is a very good obstetric nurse and has the ability to teach other nurses and interpret fetal monitoring data. She sees to it that the nurses in all of these hospitals get the most up-to-date information in obstetric care," said Herman Hein, M.D., UI professor of pediatrics and director of the Iowa Statewide Perinatal Care Program.

"She is the best head nurse that I have seen in my 30 years of nursing," said Nicollet Markovetz, clinical instructor of nursing, who nominated Papke for the award and was a staff nurse under Papke. "Kathy is knowledgeable, kind, supportive, challenging, respected and the first real example of a patient advocate I had ever seen. As a head nurse, Kathy was always current on the latest research and her staff became better nurses through working with her."

The UI College of Nursing recognizes an outstanding nurse in the area of parent-child-family nursing each year. The annual award was initiated by Martha Craft-Rosenberg, Ph.D., UI professor of nursing and chair of the Parent Child Family Area of Study, in an effort to recognize Iowa nurses who have made outstanding contributions to the health of women, children and families through demonstrated leadership, advocacy and mentoring.

Papke has also worked as a head nurse and assistant head nurse for UI Hospitals and Clinics. Before coming to Iowa, she was a staff nurse in hospitals in San Francisco, Calif. and Omaha, Neb. Papke received her bachelor's in nursing science (BSN) degree from Creighton University.