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Brown named to Academy for Women of Achievement

Aug. 4, 2016, 9:59 AM

Katherine Brown, Ed.D., M.S.Ed., an occupational therapist with Vanderbilt Home Care Services, is one of the eight inspiring Nashville women who will be inducted into the YWCA’s 2016 Academy for Women of Achievement on Oct. 6.

Katherine Brown, Ed.D., M.S.Ed.
Katherine Brown, Ed.D., M.S.Ed.

Brown, who has been described as a visionary leader, is passionate about program planning. She has taken the initiative to start locally based organizations targeting pulmonary hypertension and CPR awareness. She founded the Roberta Baines Wheeler Hypertension Awareness Group, a network of pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients, caregivers, families, medical professionals and volunteers. The organization is named after Brown’s mother, who spent more than 40 years as a nurse in trauma, flight and hospice.

“People deserve access to health care,” Brown said. “It has been my life’s mission to look for what is missing, create innovative programs and advocate for those who in some instances cannot advocate for themselves. To be honored for helping others is a blessing. I’m humbled and honored to be selected for this distinction.”

Now in its fourth year, Roberta Baines Wheeler Hypertension Awareness Group has held three annual events intended to raise awareness. Last year’s event was held at the Vanderbilt Wellness & Recreation Center and included complimentary health education sessions. The organization promotes free health screenings, including blood pressure checks, cardiology genetic counseling, vision, dental, cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, nutrition, auditory and BMI testing.

PH is a rare, debilitating disease in which high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs can lead to right heart failure. According to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, most PH patients have never heard of the disorder until they were diagnosed, and many go months or years before meeting another patient. Part of Brown’s mission is to make sure the public knows about the PH resources at VUMC.

In addition, Brown is the founder of Learn CPR America, which holds CPR training sessions throughout the community, including sessions in parks, senior centers and even door-to-door. CPR is something everyone should know, she said.

Brown recently founded the Dr. Katherine Y. Brown Leadership Academy to mentor young women in social and civic responsibilities and education regarding careers in health care.

“If there is a need, Katherine will find it,” said Laura Beth Brown, MSN, R.N., president of Vanderbilt Home Care Services.

“She is a treasure to this community, providing one of our most significant needs, and that is access to care. I am amazed at her desire and determination to make a difference in people’s lives.”

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