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Emerita prof to be honored at National Black Nurses Day celebration

Eva Smith, PhD, RN, FAAN, UIC Nursing associate professor emerita, will be honored at the 32nd annual National Black Nurses Day celebration today.

“Dr. Smith is being recognized as a legendary nurse with a heart for research,” says Sandra Webb- Booker, MS ’80, BS ’76, chairwoman of the National Black Nurses Day Committee.

Smith was a UIC Nursing faculty member for 32 years before retiring in 2014 and served as coordinator of the Urban Health Program. Her research interests were social support and health promotion, with a specific focus on breast cancer early detection and breast cancer survivorship among minority populations.

Among her noteworthy projects, she created an outreach program for hypertension education and support in African American churches, preparing a cadre of registered nurses as “church health educators” to help individuals with hypertension manage their high blood pressure.

“She noted the impact of other church-based programs, which provided services to members diagnosed with diabetes and chronic ailments and cancer,” Webb-Booker says. “She is credited with discovering the impact of weekly hypertension screenings by nurses who performed these screenings within their churches on Sundays before and after Sunday worship service.”

The National Black Nurses Day celebration is being held at the Apostolic Faith Church at 3823 S. Indiana at 6 p.m. Also being honored are alum Rev. Shirley Fleming, PhD, MS ’77, director of the Office for Faith Community Health Promotion for UIC Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships; and Ruth Slaughter, BSN ’72, retired director of public health nurses for the City of Chicago Department of Public Health.