U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first ever recipient of the Nursing Health and Humanity Award from UR’s School of Nursing, on March 26.”Senator Clinton has been a tireless advocate for nurses and the practice of nursing,” Dean of the School of Nursing Patricia Chiverton said in a press release. “She understands how important it is to address the nursing shortage now, and she understands that investing in nurses and nursing today will help patients, the economy and health care in general in the very near future,” she said. “Her leadership makes her the perfect choice for this award.”Clinton was selected to receive the award by the School of Nursing’s Dean Advisory Council. The Council chose Clinton because of her contributions toward advancing the science of nursing, influencing the professional practice and the public image of nursing.Upon receiving the award Clinton said, “I don’t deserve this award, but it’s nice because I’ve tried in some small way to improve the public image, the importance of nursing and the role nurses play in the public health care system.”Clinton stressed her belief that UR was continuing to pioneer the field of nursing. “Part of what we are focused on at the university is to remain on the cutting edge of nursing and to figure out ways to attract and keep people in nursing,” Clinton said. “We want to create a system where UR serves as a model for other schools.”In addition to voting in support of several bills and amendments that aim to train and support nurses, Clinton was a sponsor of the Nurse Reinvestment Act, which provides grants for nursing education and recruitment.Clinton mixed criticism of the current federal budget deficit into her comments. “[The current situation] is undermining America’s growth and future,” Clinton said. “We are not making investments to a healthier future and to health care. The issue of health care is not only about covering the uninsured anymore, but also the insured. The best insurance cannot make up for not having the best burn unit and the best facilities.” Despite the budget issues, Clinton pledged to do what she could to support UR’s endeavors.The award was presented during the Future of Care Campaign Gala, celebrating a $13.3 million school expansion plan. In addition to constructing a new wing, the expansion will allow the School of Nursing to increase its enrollment by 60 percent, take advantage of the latest computer technology, create new faculty positions and fund new research centers within the school. “I cannot be more enthusiastic about the future of the University of Rochester,” Clinton said, continuing on her theme of progress. “I am a great fan of Rochester – its assets, its human capital and its intellectual capital.” “Rochester has changed from an industrial to an intellectual and now to a global community,” she said. “I am betting on Rochester for a future worthy of its past.”Additional reporting byMaggie Lindstrom.Keesing can be reached at email@example.com.