PHILADELPHIA — Victoria Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN, chief nurse executive at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, has received the Prism Diversity Award from the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). The award recognizes Dr. Rich’s efforts to promote diversity within the nursing workforce and to enhance an understanding of diversity issues across the health system and greater community.

“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition,” says Rich. “It has been a true privilege to be part our initiatives to increase diversity over the years. By increasing diversity within our workforce, we are also providing greater depth of knowledge, skills, and experience to our patients. We’ve created an environment where diversity is seen as one of our core values, and where our differences are celebrated every day.”

The annual AONE awards highlight members who have demonstrated the “best of the best” in leadership practice, and whose work sets an example for every nurse leader. Since her appointment as Chief Nurse Executive in 2002, Dr. Rich has worked to create and cultivate globally-recognized diversity systems that have become a model for health care organizations. In 2003, she established the Global Nurse Program (GNP) as a resource center to address diversity in nursing and leadership roles along with global nursing issues. This program has since spawned several other initiatives, including the Nursing Cultural Competence Committee, the Circle of Women group, the Seedling Program and the Global Nurse Ambassador’s role at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP).

“Dr. Rich’s efforts to promote diversity have created a strong and unified team of nurses at HUP,” said Garry Scheib, chief operating officer at the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “She works everyday on behalf of our leadership to support diversity, inclusivity and cultural competence and has been a leader in her field for many years. HUP would not be the model of professionalism and world-class care without her dedication to providing an exceptional nursing culture.”

Dr. Rich and other award recipients will be honored during the AONE 46th Annual Meeting and Exposition this month in Denver, Co.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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