Nursing Professor Receives Acclaimed Award at National Forum Meeting

FREDERICK, Maryland— Jennifer Cooper, DNP, assistant professor of nursing, received the 2020 Heart Healthy Stroke Award on October 15 during the virtual meeting of the National Forum for Heart Disease and Prevention for her leadership and collaboration to carry out the National Public Health Action Plan to prevent heart disease.

“The National Forum has provided me with the opportunity to connect with other national partners who have prioritized about cardiovascular disease prevention,” Cooper said.

As a nurse who previously worked with people living with cardiovascular disease, she wanted to be part of the solution to preventing it.

Cooper is the president-elect of the Association of Public Health Nurses (APHN) and has been a part of the organization since 2014. As a member APHN, Cooper has been working with the Million Hearts Collaboration, a group of national organizations committed to prioritizing cardiovascular disease prevention.

The National Forum for Heart Disease and Prevention co-leads the Million Hearts Collaboration, and Cooper connected with the forum in 2016.

Inspired by Million Hearts, Cooper started Hood Million Hearts in 2018, a campus-wide wellness program that involves various community organizations such as the Frederick County Health Department, Frederick Health Hospital and the YMCA.

Nursing students who are interested in this program can train to be Million Heart Fellows. Students who become Million Hearts Fellows then teach the participants of the program how to self-monitor blood pressure and how to make lifestyle changes related to their heart health.

As of now, there have been 19 nursing students who have been trained as fellows and 74 participants who have completed the program.

“As a community/public nurse and educator, the connections I have made have given me the opportunity to integrate evidence-based prevention practices into our curriculum at Hood, that can also help to improve the health of those on campus and in our community,” Cooper said.

The National Forum for Heart Disease and Prevention’s mission is to lead and encourage collaborative action among stakeholders committed to heart disease and prevention. The Forum is in Washington D.C.     

Hood College is an independent, liberal arts college, offering more than 25 bachelor’s degrees, four pre-professional programs, 19 master’s degrees programs, two doctorates and 10 post-baccalaureate certificates. Located in historic Frederick, near Washington, D.C., Baltimore and the I-270 technology corridor, Hood gives students access to countless internships and research opportunities.

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