Nurse, Student from NKY Honored by InterAct for Change
Interact for Health's nonprofit arm, InterAct for Change, awarded $8,000 in scholarships to students across the region, including one from Northern Kentucky University. It also honored two individuals with Nursing Excellence Awards for outstanding contributions to nursing in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana. One of those recipients is from Northern Kentucky.
Ashel Kreutzkamp, of Florence, was honored for her leadership efforts to reduce the harm brought by opioid use in Northern Kentucky.
As Nurse Manager in the emergency department at St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas, Kreutzkamp was one of the first to recognize the increase in opioid-related overdoses in 2011, and began tracking data. Since then, she has worked to improve care for people with substance use disorders by increasing access to the overdose reversal drug Narcan, bringing peer counselors into the emergency department and helping link emergency patients to substance abuse treatment. Kreutzkamp is now recognized among health care leaders in the region, the state and nationally as an advocate for ways to address addiction as a medical illness, and often speaks on the topic at conferences and with media outlets.
“Ashel and (second honoree Abbie Crookham) show that a nurse’s work goes far beyond a patient’s vital signs,” said Dr. O’dell Moreno Owens, president and CEO of InterAct for Change. “They’ve recognized that factors outside the clinical setting, including substance use, trauma and poverty, need to be addressed to improve patient outcomes and have focused their energies to improve systems of care.”
Four students received nursing scholarships. Applicants were selected on based academic performance, professional aspirations, compassion in caregiving, employment background, financial need, and recommendations. Students are listed with their degree program and university.
Among the four was Rose Hook Scholarship recipient, Ifeoluwa C. Babarinde, of Highland Heights, who is pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing at Northern Kentucky University.
“Nurses are a key part of our health care system,” said Owens. “They assist their patients and families, and help to coordinate care with other professionals. It’s critical that we support nursing education to continue this positive impact on the health of our community.”