Nursing Professor Wins March of Dimes Award
The March of Dimes Massachusetts chapter has named Cheryl Sheils, Ed.D., R.N., associate professor of nursing, Nurse of the Year in the Community Health category.
Dr. Sheils is one of the founding members of the grassroots organization Pioneer Valley Free Health Service, which provides free health care to individuals with little or no insurance. The organization, started 15 years ago, has more than two dozen nurse and physician volunteers providing free mental health, primary care, and women’s health services to the community on a weekly basis.
Dr. Sheils serves as a member of the Board of Directors and nurse coordinator, ensuring there are sufficient patient care resources on-site and facilitating referrals to free or low-cost services off-site.
The medical coordinator at Pioneer Valley Free Health Service, Andrew Balder, M.D., nominated Dr. Sheils for the award. Dr. Sheils, who did not know that she was nominated, was notified that she was a finalist and received an invite to the March of Dimes Awards Ceremony in Natick. She was truly surprised when she won the award.
“It’s nice to be recognized and to share that experience with a room full of professional nurse colleagues,” Dr. Sheils said.
The Nurse of the Year Awards is a statewide event that recognizes exceptional nurses, creates awareness of professional excellence and promotes the future of the nursing profession, while helping to advance the mission of the March of Dimes.
Dr. Sheils has been a member of the Elms nursing faculty for 23 years and resides in East Longmeadow.