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Clarke Nursing Chair Receives Highest U.S. Public Health Service Honor

By Clarke News  |  May 14, 2012

In honor of a distinguished career in public health leadership, Ret. Captain Roberta Lavin, Ph.D., APRN, professor and chair of nursing at Clarke University, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the United States Public Health Service. The award is the highest honor given by the agency.

With over 20 years of public health leadership experience, Lavin served as director of the Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response for the federal Administration on Children and Families before joining the Clarke faculty. At the same time, she served as the designated federal officer for the National Commission on Children and Disasters.

On a federal level, Lavin has served as both chief of staff and chief policy officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, during which time she coordinated implementation of presidential and secretarial initiatives. She has also been a special assistant in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and director of the secretary’s command center.

The award, for Lavin, was a bit of a surprise. Although the nomination process has taken one year, colleagues and friends managed to keep it a secret. “Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to work with good people on significant projects,” said Lavin. “It is an honor to have my career achievements recognized in this way.”

Lavin holds a Ph.D. in nursing from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a master of arts degree in emergency/disaster management from American Military College, a master of science in nursing degree from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology with a minor in religious studies from the University of Tennessee.