October 21, 2005

VUSN’s Etherington lauded by YWCA

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Carol Etherington, M.S.N.

VUSN’s Etherington lauded by YWCA

Carol Etherington, M.S.N., assistant professor of Nursing, was among four women inducted into the YWCA's (Young Women's Christian Association) Academy for Women of Achievement at a recent special awards ceremony.

Etherington was chosen for her tireless efforts in the Nashville community and beyond for more than three decades.

“One of the most joyful things about this honor is to be able to share it with such an incredible group of women from the past and present. They are significant women in this community,” said Etherington.

“I'm especially honored because some of my work over the last several years has been overseas. But I've never really lost my connections to Nashville, and through the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing I've continued to work in this community with my nursing students.”

Etherington was awarded the International Achievement Award from the Florence Nightingale International Foundation in 2003.

She is the immediate past-president of the USA board of Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders.

She has traveled to Bosnia, Cambodia, Angola, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Tajikistan, Honduras and Poland during times of war or natural disasters.

She has also worked with the International Medical Corps and the International Red Cross to provide acute care to victims, conducted training for local doctors and nurses, and negotiated with government and health officials to integrate mental health into health systems.

She has also worked on several missions here at home, including the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City, the earthquake of 1994 in Los Angeles, Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992, and other natural disasters and emergency situations here in Nashville.

Most recently, Etherington traveled to Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, this time on a personal mission, to help friends salvage what was left of a place they once called home.

Linda Norman, D.S.N., senior associate dean for Academics at VUSN, said giving to others and helping people in need is Etherington's calling.

“Carol has such a devotion to the underserved and the vulnerable populations. With her work teaching community health courses at Vanderbilt and her volunteer efforts, she really introduces our students to being able to work with the very needy populations.

She teaches students how to appreciate them and to understand that it is not just a hopeless case,” said Norman.

Etherington has said about her commitment to underserved and victimized populations, “I can remember my mother telling me that if there was an underdog someplace, I would find it,” she said.

Etherington was among three others named Women of Achievement Inductees, including another Vanderbilt employee, Brenda Gilmore. She is director of university mail services.

The other inductees were Gertrude Caldwell, a community service volunteer, and Nancy Sanders Peterson, president and CEO of Peterson Tool Company, Inc.

The Annual Women of Achievement award ceremony serves as the principal fundraiser for the local YWCA, helping the organization offer services like the domestic violence shelter, the youth advocacy programs, job readiness and career development. Etherington and Gilmore join 75 women to be recognized by the organization.

The AWA was launched by the YWCA to honor women who serve as role models for young women.