The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) has appointed Helen Scannell Thomas, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, to serve as Director of the Lillian D. Wald Community Nursing Center.
Thomas brings extensive clinical experience in a variety of ambulatory pediatric settings to the Center in East Baltimore and-through 11 years with the Comprehensive School Based Health Center Program of the Baltimore City Health Department-a working knowledge of the community and its health needs. Throughout her career, Thomas has used her certification as a pediatric nurse practitioner and graduate preparation in community health nursing to serve communities and families most in need of nursing care. Her strengths lie in primary care, health education, program planning, and individualized counseling with special interests in adolescents, family support, and school based health services.
In addition to her past work with Baltimore City Health Department, Thomas is a part-time clinical instructor with the JHUSON, a court-appointed special advocate for Voices for Children in Howard County, and an active member of the health and prison ministries at her parish in Columbia. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Rochester and a Master of Science in Community Health Nursing from the University of Maryland.
As Director of the Wald Nursing Center, Thomas will lead JHUSON faculty and staff efforts to address health disparities by delivering free and reduced cost services to uninsured and underinsured families in the East Baltimore community. In addition, as an educational arm of the JHUSON, the Center provides a unique learning environment for students to acquire skills essential to effective community health nursing practice among urban populations.
Thomas looks forward to working closely with students on academic and research activities related to patient advocacy, health promotion and disease prevention, program planning, and clinic administration. She noted that, “The opportunity to experience the scope and vitality of community health nursing practice with students is an honor that is both professionally challenging and personally invigorating.”
According to JHUSON Dean Martha N. Hill, “Helen Thomas is the ideal catalyst to focus and enhance the legacy of quality and compassion of care established by Marion D. Lugoff [the founder of the Center] and to continue the work that makes Hopkins a leader in community and public health nursing.”