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Linda McCreary, UIC College of Nursing associate dean for global health, will retire from the college in August.

McCreary, PhD ’00, MS ’93, BSN ’73, RN, FAAN, joined the UIC Nursing Department of Population Health Nursing Science as research assistant professor in 2004 and was promoted to clinical assistant professor and associate director of the Global Health Leadership Office in 2014. She received her BSN, Master’s and PhD nursing degrees from UIC, as well as completing her postdoctoral training in primary health care research at UIC.

“Dr. McCreary was strongly committed to teaching and mentoring global health researchers and practicing nurses,” Dean Terri Weaver, PhD, RN, FAAN, ATSF, FAASM, said. “She has advised international undergraduate students, and mentored numerous U.S. and international graduate students many through the Bridges to Doctorate program, which aims to increase the number of PhD-prepared research scientists from under-represented minority groups, and has served on many committees. Her expertise has been a sought after mentor of pre-and post-doctoral students from a number of countries which lead to cohorts of PhD graduates who contributed to nursing education, policy and research. Dr. McCreary’s highly effective teaching methods are evidenced by the high student ratings from the PhD-level elective course in international leadership.”

McCreary served as the co-director of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for International Development in Primary Health Care since 2010, carrying out the college’s mission to advance global health and primary health care. She has been recognized for her outstanding local and international service with induction as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing and receipt of the Beverly J. McElmurry Award for Contributions to International Nursing.

McCreary’s field of research has focused on improving health outcomes of vulnerable populations in the U.S. and globally through capacity building. She has conducted highly relevant cross-cultural studies within the U.S., Chile, India, Malawi, South Korea, Swaziland, Taiwan and Thailand. Dr. McCreary developed The Family Effectiveness Measure that is being used in longitudinal studies of formerly incarcerated men and women now in substance use treatment. Dr. McCreary’s second area of expertise is on HIV/AIDS prevention and care in limited-resource high-HIV-incidence countries.

“From the onset, Dr. McCreary’s research has had a positive impact on global health policy, starting in Swaziland, where she led a large research team in evaluating a program that engaged public health nurses and community health workers in HIV prevention and family home-based care,” Weaver said.

Based on the finding of the program evaluation, the Kingdom of Swaziland increased AIDS care supplies and support to caregiving families. With an interdisciplinary research team, McCreary developed and piloted a nurse-led group intervention for family caregivers of people living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi and led an NIH-funded P30 pilot study to validate instruments to be used to test the effectiveness of that intervention.

“Dr. McCreary’s innovative work contributed to the UIC College of Nursing to secure a U.S Department of State funded Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative grant from the U.S. – India Educational Foundation,” Weaver added. “As part of the initiative, Dr. McCreary worked with students and faculty in India to build capacity for instrument development, and survey and interviewing methods and dissemination.”

On an international level, McCreary developed the curriculum for the Community Health Nursing course at Xi’an Jiaotong University in the People’s Republic of China. She co-taught the inaugural course for 18 master’s level nursing students, as well as approximately 100 nursing faculty members from universities across China as psychiatric mental health nursing had not been previously taught in Chinese schools of nursing.

For the Bel-Air College of Nursing in India, McCreary led the curriculum development for the new Master of Science in Medical-Surgical Nursing with Sub-Specialty in HIV Nursing, which serves as the standardized curriculum for other Indian universities that institute a master’s program in this sub-specialty.

“Her impact on healthcare in Rwanda cannot be underscored as she worked tirelessly to support our faculty there and contribute to the development of the Master’s in Nursing Science at the University of Rwanda, as well as affect hospital and community-based systems of care,” Weaver said. “Dr. McCreary has touched so many students from universities of Korea, Japan, India and Spain who participated in the summer program to engage in cross cultural education with our students.”

McCreary also substantially contributed to the development of leadership in Korea by partnering with the Korean Nurses Association to bring cohort after cohort of chief nursing officers to UIC Nursing to develop their leadership skills and observe at several Chicago hospitals. As evidence of the impact of her international collaboration, McCreary received the International Development Award for Collaboration from the John Nuceen Center for International Affairs, University of Illinois Chicago Office of International Affairs to partially support her travel to India.

A celebration of McCreary will be held at a later date. Rohan Jeremiah, PhD, MPH, has been named interim associate dean for Global Health effective Sept. 1.