Helping people become mentally healthy and reducing the stigma of mental illness is a special calling for Anita Dempsey, Ph.D., associate director of the Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program in the Wright State University–Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health.
She was recently honored with the 2014 Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing—RN Expanded Role Category from the Dayton VA Medical Center (VAMC).
Dempsey is an advanced practice psych/mental health nurse with a joint appointment at the Dayton VAMC. In addition to being a liaison between the campuses, she evaluates and counsels veterans in the Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, is a resource and support for advanced practice nurses, and provides therapeutic communication and other training for nurses and staff at the VAMC.
“Dr. Dempsey demonstrates and teaches expert nursing practice to a new generation of B.S.N. students,” Katie Hils, a nurse manager at the VAMC, wrote in her nomination letter. “She seeks innovative, best practice methods to encourage understanding and to reduce the stigma of mental illness.”
Hils added that Dempsey’s students are active participants in the direct care of veterans. “As a result of this engagement, the students also gain invaluable knowledge and understanding of how military trauma can affect the mental health of veterans and their families, long after leaving the battlefield,” Hils noted.
The award was presented by Anna Jones Monnett, associate director of patient care services at the VAMC.
Dempsey received her bachelor’s in nursing degree from The Ohio State University and her master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.