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Connell School of Nursing Honors Alumna Betsy Brown of Partners Harvard Medical International with Inaugural Dean Rita Kelleher Award

Office of Public Affairs


CHESTNUT HILL, MA (August 2009) -- Elizabeth (Betsy) Brown, an alumna of Boston College's William F. Connell School of Nursing, was honored for her commitment to excellence in international community nursing with the school's inaugural Dean Rita Kelleher Award, named for the school's dean emeritus and professor Rita Kelleher, who at 101 years of age, remains dedicated both to the nursing profession and to Boston College.

"Like Rita Kelleher, Betsy Brown is a compassionate, committed steward of the nursing profession," said Connell School Dean Susan Gennaro, who presented the award at the school's annual alumni reunion.

Gennaro and Brown Boston College Connell School of Nursing Dean Susan Gennaro (left) greets CSON alumna Betsy Brown, winner of the inaugural Dean Rita Kelleher Award.

Brown is director of clinical services at Partners Harvard Medical International, which strives to improve the quality of health care and the health profession’s education around the globe. She collaborates with international partners in China, Dubai, Ecuador, Greece, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and Zimbabwe to develop hospital and academic facilities, clinical programs and professional staff, as well as systems to improve quality and patient safety.

"Betsy Brown is instrumental in helping PHMI's partner institutions enhance the competency and leadership of their nursing teams, and integrate key input on nursing practice into hospital planning and program implementation," said Gennaro.

Following her graduation from the Connell School in 1985 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing, Brown earned a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University in 1996 and a master of science in community health from Rush University in 1997. She completed an administrative fellowship at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 1998.

The Kelleher Award

Rita Kelleher

Rita Kelleher

Rita Kelleher arrived at Boston College in September 1947 as the nursing school's first faculty member. Just six months later, she was named dean, a role she held for two decades until she resigned in 1968. With the exception of a one-year stint as acting dean, she returned to full-time teaching and retired in 1973, following a  26-year association with the school.

Following in her footsteps, the Kelleher Award recipient must be an accomplished nursing leader, an ethically aware scientist and a skilled and inquisitive clinician.

Read a Voice magazine tribute to Dean Kelleher on the occasion of her 100th birthday.