Nov 17, 2014

Utah Nurse Selected as Recipient of National Leadership Award

Contact: Susan Lamontagne
(631) 899-3825 or

A Utah nurse who has helped fill the gap in women’s health care in rural Utah will be recognized as one of the 10 recipients of the new Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing award created by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a joint initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Danielle Howa Pendergrass, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, a nurse practitioner, opened Eastern Utah Women’s Health, which serves more than 20,000 women from teens to seniors, both insured and uninsured, in rural Utah. A major challenge to improving access to care for Utah women and girls was Medicaid’s reimbursement policy, which would not pay nurse practitioners directly. Pendergrass helped to change that.

“Now patients do not have to drive over 60 miles to see a women’s health care provider. They are very happy we are here,” said Pendergrass, who provides Pap smears, mammograms, contraception, primary care, and more to women from three Utah counties.

In addition to her health care practice, Pendergrass is a nursing instructor at Utah State University Eastern and provides hands-on experience to nurse practitioner students from the University of Utah.

The Campaign for Action created the 2014 Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing award to celebrate nurse leadership and the importance of efforts by nurses to improve health and health care. The award recipients have worked to help victims of sexual assault, medically fragile children, neurologically impaired individuals, and low-income women in rural areas, among others. Their work is helping to improve the quality of medical care in Vermont, prevent bedsores and reduce Medicaid costs in Texas, and recruit minority nursing students in Wisconsin, to name a few.

“Danielle has worked tirelessly to improve access to care for women and girls,” said Joan Gallegos, project coordinator, HealthInsight and staff director, Utah Action Coalition. “This award recognizes the incredible progress Danielle’s leadership has made in Utah.”

Learn about the other recipients.